We want fast and easy access to goods and services. The distribution system needs to be user-friendly, efficient and reliable. Groceries and other things that we order should be delivered to the door when it’s convenient for us, so that we can avoid traffic and standing in line at the shop. Delivery vehicles should not be noisy, emit exhaust fumes or put playing children at risk.
Illustration: "Do we always get fossil-free fuel? Gosh, no, only when you kids are watching."
We try to choose sustainable alternatives when we shop and would also like to have that option when it comes to transport. For this we need explicit information, like the eco-labelling we have for food. It would also be practical to have access to a car without having to own one.
We hope that it’s possible to solve these problems so that we can relax in front of the TV with a clear conscience.
Self-driving transports for the benefit of all
Road-bound freight transports account for 83% of the entire freight transport flow. The fact that many of these transports run empty raises questions about the efficiency and capacity utilization of vehicle fleets and drivers. Transport vehicles are not stationary 96% of the time, as private vehicles are. There are in motion for most of the day, pouring out exhaust fumes and making noise. The human factor is also a significant part of the distribution system, with resulting effects on reliability, traffic safety and efficiency. This should be possible to change. Self-driving transports have a lot to offer for consumers, producers and distributors.
Freight transports in the bicycle network
If driverless delivery vehicles are adapted to distribute goods locally via the bicycle network, the deliveries will be more reliable, since fewer freight transports will get stuck in road traffic. In order for the vehicles to navigate the finely meshed bicycle network, they need to be small and agile. The delivery vehicles will also be easier to operate fossil-free and will make less noise than other motor vehicles. When the delivery vehicles are empty, they will only need to drive short distances, because the distribution hubs will be local and closer together.
Efficiency leads to safety
If we remove some of the transport vehicles from our roads, this will have a positive impact on traffic flows, emissions, traffic safety and, above all, mobility. Traffic safety may not be set against efficiency – on the contrary, efficiency should lead to traffic safety.
Sustainable from production to distribution
It’s not only the transport and logistics industries that will benefit from more efficient freight transports. Private purchase related travel can also be dramatically reduced when we can have goods delivered cost effectively to our door – whether it’s a carton of milk or a new sofa. Another gain is that goods will become available even to those who don’t have access to a car, are disabled or live in geographically remote locations. The entire chain from production to distribution must become sustainable. A more efficient and greener distribution system shouldn’t contribute to higher emissions in production or operations.
By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities
UN Global Goal - 9.4