Mengyuan Gou, Haiyan Yu
Jan 13, 2023
Considering real-time requests and multiple truck–drone delivery modes, we propose an online delivery problem using a truck and some drones, which form a hybrid truck–drone delivery collaboration system comprising independent and truck-carried drones. Considering this problem, we focus on how to schedule the vehicles to serve real-time requests, with the objective of minimizing the time of the latest vehicle’s return to the delivery station. First, we proved the lower bound of this problem to be 1.5. Second, we designed an online re-planning algorithm and proved its competitive ratio to be 2.5. As the online re-planning algorithm invokes an offline algorithm, an offline model was established, and an offline drone priority algorithm was designed. Then, we verified the effectiveness of the offline algorithm by comparing it with the CPLEX solution, and the stability of the online re-planning algorithm with different input parameters was studied through MATLAB simulation. Finally, the minimal latest time saving was calculated by comparing the hybrid truck–drone collaboration system with a truck-only delivery system. This research provides theoretical support for addressing the hybrid truck–drone delivery problem.