Europe urgently needs identification and rapid upscaling of innovative solutions in last mile transport, as the e- commerce sector has been through a period of continuous economic growth – a trend strongly reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As e-commerce growth accelerates, the question of sustainability becomes increasingly important. The last mile of e-commerce deliveries is the most emissions-intensive part of the delivery, and increased demand results in last mile CO2 emissions rising 25 million tonnes annually and in a 21% increase in traffic congestion.
The Flagship n. 7 of the recent EU Action Plan 'Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil' highlights the importance of adopting Living Labs (LLs) for smoothing the uptake and acceptance of exemplar models to accelerate green and digital transformation, supporting the European Digital Green Coalition and the European Climate Pact goals. Cities steer last mile transitions, faced with budget challenges and increased transportation needs. In this context, URBANE is aimed at developing a Replication and Scale up Model for the wide and fast replication of successful smart green last mile delivery solutions.
A project key building block will be the development of an open Digital Twin (DT) infrastructure for urban logistics, advancing the LEAD project DT platform, enabling city and industry actors to take decisions on the preferable delivery solutions to be implemented. The approach employs social simulation tools to experiment with possible strategies and business models, aiming at boosting end-user adoption and increase investors’ confidence.