According to the most recent INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard, which analyses and ranks the impact of traffic congestion in 1,064 cities across 38 countries worldwide, “Motorists in Europe’s cities spent up to 91 hours sitting in congested traffic during 2016.” Ford Motor Company employees, whose vision for a sustainable future mirrors that of their employers, has developed an ‘Autolivery’ concept that includes self-driving vans and drone delivering goods right to our front door.
Ford’s ‘Autolivery’ Concept
With traffic congestion costing UK motorists more than £30 Billion in 2016, Ford’s ‘Autolivery’ concept should have a rather immediately economic impact not to mention reduce carbon emissions exponentially. Created from the company’s Last Mile Mobility Challenge, Ford’s ‘Autolivery’ concept solves a major problem with automated home delivery service: the final 15 meters. By using an autonomous driving electric van for the majority of the delivery and then using a drone to airlift the package to the customer’s doorstep, Ford came up a rather innovative way to circumvent the “last leg” delivery issue.
According to a recent Ford Motor press release, the drone is a rather instrumental part of the ‘Autolivery’ process mostly because it can “go places inaccessible by car – such as high up in a tower block or places unsafe for delivery vehicles.” Whether it’s those simply ordering from Amazon or people living in smart connected homes, Ford’s ‘Autolivery’ concept will help reduce congestion in major cities caused by consumer goods logistics.
Ford Uses VR to Introduce ‘City of Tomorrow’
If this concept isn’t cool enough, the entire ‘Autolivery’ supply chain process can be experienced by strapping on a virtual reality headset at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as part of Ford’s vision of the “City of Tomorrow.” Showcasing Ford’s concept through VR technology illustrates the company’s commitment toward a sustainable future.
“Ford has at its heart a culture of disruption and innovation designed to come up with solutions that put people first, to save them time, money and aggravation, and also make our cities easier to navigate and better to live in,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company. “We challenge ourselves to understand how people live, work and move in urban areas, to inform our research in mobility technologies and solutions.”
Harnassing Autonomous and EV Technology
According to the INRIX study, Los Angeles tops the list of the world’s most gridlocked cities, with drivers spending on average 104 peak hours in congestion in 2016, followed by Moscow (91 hours), New York (89 hours), San Francisco (83 hours) and Bogota (80 hours). It’s rather obvious that urban environments need a solution for overpopulation, highway congestion, and rising pollution levels. With the hope of one day “converting roads into green space and parks,” Ford envisions a solution that uses clean energy and taps into the abundance of airspace over major highways.
The ‘Autolivery’ concept, developed by Shanghai-based Ford designers Euishik Bang, James Kuo and Chelsia Lau, can only be described as disruptive. It solves the “curb-to-door” final delivery issue and at the same time, drastically reduces consumerisms heavy carbon footprint. “It’s all about making life in the city easier. The possibility of harnessing autonomous and electric vehicle technology with drones to quickly and easily send and deliver parcels could help make life better for everyone,” said Bang.