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  • Writer's pictureJaap Tjebbes

EIT Mobility Project Update

Pioneering sustainable city logistics in three European cities

Since the beginning of this year, we have eagerly joined forces with the cities of Riga, Bucharest, and Groningen on a project co-funded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology - Mobility (EIT). We're thrilled that our proposal, developed in collaboration with these cities, was selected in this year's Call for Innovation of the EIT. As the project gains momentum, we would like to share our progress and the early results of our real-life pilots in these vibrant and forward-thinking cities. Let's delve into what we've been up to in the last few months.

Preparing the Cities

At the heart of this project lies the experimentation with Smart Zones—digital and bookable unloading bays poised to revolutionize urban logistics in Groningen, Bucharest, and Riga. City officials in these municipalities recognized the promising opportunities our innovation offers for creating safer, healthier, and more livable cities. However, it does require them to embrace new thinking, which can be a challenge.

During the initial months, we embarked on a journey to secure political support within internal departments, establish the regulatory framework for the pilot, analyze city data to pinpoint suitable areas for the Smart Zones, and inform and onboard all local stakeholders to ensure a successful pilot engagement. By preparing three distinctly different cities for the introduction of Smart Zone pilots, we've gained invaluable experience in the governmental decision-making processes and have taken significant steps toward defining our active and guiding role in this landscape.

Coding the Curbs Platform Launch

Concurrently with city preparations, our platform underwent significant updates to enhance its robustness and adaptability across three diverse countries. We improved the CTC platform's capacity to handle multiple locations, countries, currencies, user groups, parameters, regulations, and information streams. We developed a modular IT architecture to facilitate scalability and flexibility, creating a user-friendly platform with a fast backend and frontend. In June, we were excited to witness the launch of our new app version.

The new version of our application

The birth of new Smart Zones

Starting in July, street markings were applied and smart signs and sensors installed. This marked the moment when carriers, local businesses, and citizens in Groningen and Bucharest could begin to experience the benefits of place-guaranteed safe loading and unloading. Riga is on the verge of joining the project once the necessary permits are secured.

As a relatively young company committed to continuous learning and improvement, we consider this project to be the ultimate opportunity to gain insights from a diverse user base regarding their perceptions of our platform and services. Throughout this project, we strongly advocate for incentivized co-creation and maintain close contact with our new users to collect feedback, which guides us in making ongoing improvements to the platform.

Smart Zone realisation in Bucharest

Measuring Impact and Empowering Cities

The primary objective of this EIT project is to quantify the impact of Smart Zones and assess the extent to which they contribute to making cities more livable. Instead of relying solely on theoretical research, we are rigorously field-testing our solution in the three cities using a build-measure-learn approach. This approach allows us to gather crucial data on bookings, occupancy rates, stakeholder feedback, and vehicle insights, prioritizing real-world data over theoretical concepts.

Considering the limited availability of logistics traffic data, we are eager to see how these pilot projects enhance our understanding of logistics trends and their effects on streets and curbs. Ultimately, our vision is that cities can utilize this real data to optimize space efficiency and reshape themselves for the future. This approach addresses fundamental questions about delivery frequency, peak times, required Smart Zone occupancy, driver efficiency, and the ideal urban curbside landscape.

Stay tuned for more updates on our journey to transform urban logistics and create cities that are not just smarter but also more sustainable and livable!

A carrier at the Groningen Smart Zone


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