UPS is to start trials of electric powered bike and walker trailers in London’s Mayfair area later this year, as part of a multi-million low impact logistics project funded by Innovate UK.
The aim of the project is to combine speed, mobility and analytics to provide a sustainable delivery system that could signal a new future for urban courier logistics.
Specialist product development consultancy Fernhay and technology development company Skotkonung will work alongside the University of Huddersfield to design and develop the IP protected prototype.
Outspoken Delivery, the cycle-based delivery company, will test the trailers in Cambridge first, then UPS will run live trials in Mayfair in early 2017.
Fernhay’s technology is net neutral, so the weight of the trailer is not felt by the handler, allowing for increased last mile deliveries by foot or cycling. Fernhay enlisted Prof Rakesh Mishra of Huddersfield University for the development of the sensors and the data analysis system that will create the “net neutral” effect.
“We are delighted to be part of this exciting project that has the potential to provide substantial costs savings to the freight transport sector as well as significant benefits for the environment. The combination of our expertise in sensor design and analytics along with the expertise and knowledge of the consortium partners will ensure that we deliver an innovative technology that will have a transformative effect,” said Prof Mishra.
The project, entitled Low Impact City Logistics, is part of a £10 million investment by the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK.