Innovation That Matters

Electric transport

Electric delivery bikes reduce urban air and traffic congestion


A consortium is trialing a fleet of electric cargo bikes and trailers for quicker, more efficient and nearly carbon neutral deliveries in Central London.

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UPS are in partnership with the University of Huddersfield, cycle courier company Outspoken Delivery, product development company Fernhay and data specialists Skotkonung to introduce the new bike and trailer fleet in the London borough of Camden as part of the Low Impact City Logistics project. The GBP 10 million project is funded by Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Each electric trailer can carry up to 200 kilograms of weight, and the proprietary net-neutral technology of the system means that the cyclist doesn’t feel the weight. Not only does this allow for quicker and easier deliveries, it also lets walking couriers push a similarly assisted trailer access into particularly densely populated neighborhoods. Using optimization algorithms from Skotkonung, drivers are able to constantly monitor and update their route plans and speed. Debuting in the London borough of Camden throughout the end of 2017, the project may expand to other boroughs by mid-2018.

As on-demand becomes the norm, and consumers continue to shop around for brands and products that mirror their social priorities, industries ranging from farming to healthcare are finding new ways to save time and money all while providing an improved service. In New Delhi, customers use WhatsApp to order fresh produce directly from the farmers who grew and produced the food. In Switzerland, two hospitals use a drone delivery service to speed up transport and lab test result times. How could these ideas be used to benefit rural communities and residents?



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