The automation of last-mile delivery will help cities to reduce the amount of space allocated for commercial vehicles to stop and park. In addition, it will optimise routes and their management, reduce costs, and lead to nocturnal operations of distribution companies, which will increase operational opportunities for the service and thus improve it.
The CARNET initiative, coordinated by the CIT UPC, has generated a small autonomous vehicle, called ADD, to carry out the last-mile delivery of goods. The vehicle can carry out its journey autonomously using a Lidar 3D system and laser technology that, together with a GPS, a stereo camera and HRI lamps, can model the environment, determine the route and react to obstacles. The vehicle also improves the mobility system overall by increasing safety in urban areas and reducing traffic and emissions:
This project not only aims to provide more efficient solutions to the distribution of goods by distributors, but also to respond to other challenges such as, for example, improving the distribution of drugs from pharmacies to the sick and to increase the accessibility of disadvantaged groups to medication.
This project uses all of the technology required for autonomous driving. The ADD generate virtual models of their environment to avoid potential obstacles and they are also connected to a general model of the mobility system of the urban centre so that their route can be optimised and the travel time reduced. Their autonomy also means that journeys can be programmed in advance. The technology represents progress towards automatization of all goods distribution processes.