Takeaways from the INFORMS Annual Meeting
by Damon Gulczynski
INFORMS is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to promoting best practices and advances in operations research, management science and analytics to improve operational processes, decision making and outcomes.
Both academic and industry professionals discussed a variety of operations research topics, many of which were focused on new avenues of research in vehicle routing. For example, Stefan Poikonen from the University of Colorado Denver (and a former RouteSmart intern) gave a presentation on the use of truck routing with drones. The subject: If drones can be launched from stops on a truck’s route, make deliveries and then return to the truck at subsequent stops, what efficiency gains can be actualized? Once regulatory restrictions on drone usage are amended, this could be an option in the not-so-distant future.
Presentations were also given on autonomous vehicle routes. One example was of a self-driving delivery truck moving along a travel path, stopping briefly to allow a delivery person to unload and deliver packages, before meeting up with the truck again further along its path. This could be useful in densely populated areas where parking is limited.
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