The Last Mile Digital Platform – Towards a more resilient goods road transport in Europe

Last Mile Team, an EIT Urban Mobility Business Creation’s portfolio company, is the winner of the first Spanish National Mobility Award in the Product category. This awards recognises the team as a catalyst to the green and digital goods road transport twin transition, and a solution that improves cities liveability and contributes to achieve the EU Green Deal and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals objectives in the short, medium and long term.

Founded in 2016 by a core team of diverse age, gender, culture and background group of people with deep knowledge in their respective fields of expertise, they are one of the so called “deep-tech” startups. They make use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things and other advanced technologies, but what makes them fit for the purpose is the deep impact of their solutions to solve urban logistics and last mile delivery global problems that affect all cities in the world.

Their inclusive digital solutions enable cities and companies to build, evaluate, select and put into daily operation Digital Twins of fairer, smarter and greener urban logistics and last mile delivery business models. Innovative models that achieve impactful results balancing all stakeholders’ interests, customers convenience and competitive dynamics, minimising disruption and improving the Triple Bottom Line.

“They were among the first 15 teams selected for EIT Urban Mobility Scale-up Hub, as one of the teams that will shape the future of sustainable urban mobility in Europe and beyond! They were also selected to join EIT Urban Mobility GoGlobal, a program to take the participants to the next level.” says Fredrik Hanel, EIT Urban Mobility Business Creation Director.

We thoroughly enjoyed both programmes. Meeting and working with mentors, city representatives and investors to review, identify and implement improvements to our growth, fundraising, marketing, communication etc. strategies was a very intense learning experience. It was particularly exciting to give, take and share with a community of like-minded founders who want to improve mobility in its broadest sense. For us it was a chance to meet people we normally wouldn’t meet and openly discuss any topic to a very deep level.”, says Ángel Batalla, Last Mile Team CEO.

Their solutions are currently in TRL 7, being applied in the Horizon 2020 funded LEAD project that will create Digital Twins of urban logistics networks in six European cities, to test and represent different innovative solutions for city logistics, to address the requirements of the on-demand economy while aligning competing interests and creating value for all different stakeholders.

Learn more about Last Mile Team here

More information about Last Mile Digital Platform©

It is validated by Microsoft and Honeywell as a Delivery Logistics Platform line-of-business application suitable for Corporates and Enterprises.

Last Mile Team is a high-risk, high-potential, innovative but not-easily-bankable SME. Is actively looking for lead city or industry customers but they plan to apply for blended finance to the newly created European Innovation Council Accelerator Fast-Track. The grant would be to develop additional functionalities and become open source to bridge the chronic transport industry digital divide, the equity to finance market creation and commercialise their products, services and business models. They are in a mission to drive economic growth and strongly support transport decarbonisation in Europe and worldwide. 

The Last Mile Digital Platform has also been recognised the most innovative mobility startup at Inovate Against the Virus 2020, and credited as an Innovative Technology-Based Entreprise in Feruary 2021. Few days ago, they were accepted as an official partners of the Spanish Government “Acelera PYME”, a programme to support SMEs to help mitigate the impact of Covid19 on their road transport activity,

CityFlows, our candidate to EIT Awards, launches City Analytics Startup

The CityFlows consortium is proud that Dorine Duives, Principal Investigator and Project Lead, has been nominated for the EIT Woman Leadership & Entrepreneurship Award.

Her candidacy recognises her outstanding contributions to the field of sustainable mobility.  We congratulate all the nominees and wish them luck. The awards ceremony will be live streamed on 9 December.  For more information and to vote for the EIT Awards, click here.

Let’s learn more about the project our candidate is leading!

CityFlows is an EIT Urban Mobility project bringing together a diverse consortium of partners to launch a state-of-the-art Crowd Management Decision-Support System (CM-DSS) to improve the safety and comfort of busy pedestrian spaces. 

The CityFlows project has already achieved impressive results.  Despite initial delays due to the Corona emergency, living lab projects in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan are well under way.  With the launch of the City Analytics startup, the CityFlows CM-DSS is ready to scale, thereby helping boost the quality of pedestrian spaces across Europe and internationally.  This is more urgent than ever, especially as cities are looking for tools which can help them keep Covid-19 under control in the upcoming months.

Since September, three CityFlows webinars have been hosted bringing together project partners and the broader crowd-management community.  Recaps and recordings of those webinars are available on the CityFlows website and a fourth webinar is planned for 1 December on the topic of 5G applications for crowd-management.  Project partners will continue to develop educational activities into 2021, showcasing the results and lessons learnt from the different living lab projects and other best practices for crowd-management.  Researchers and practitioners working on innovative crowd-management projects are invited to share their work with this growing community of crowd-management professionals.

What is new on CityFlows

The upcoming launch of City Analytics, a start-up licensing the CityFlows CM-DSS software to government authorities, represents a major project milestone.  City Analytics will boost the quality of pedestrian spaces, a timely development as cities look for reliable tools that can help them respond to the Corona crisis. 

Background

The safety and comfort of pedestrian spaces influences the quality of life in cities, but crowding can limit these gains.  In recent years, a few European universities and municipalities have developed techniques to actively monitor crowd movements and proactively manage crowded spaces using real-time decision support systems.  These pilot programs have shown that effective crowd management can substantially improve the liveability and sustainability of densely populated urban areas.  Yet, at the beginning of 2020, there was no state-of-the-art CM-DSS ready for large-scale deployment.  

This is the challenge that a diverse consortium of partners set out to address in the EIT Urban Mobility project, CityFlows. The Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) and its founding member, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), brought together researchers and practitioners in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Milan who have expertise in state-of-the-art sensor techniques, crowd management, governmental regulation, European privacy regulation, machine learning, data analytics and valorization of research output.  This consortium consists of AMS Institute, TU Delft, as well as the city of Amsterdam, ALTRAN, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya – BarcelonaTech (UPC), the city of Barcelona, ENEA, the city of Milan and AMAT.

Shortly after the project launched in January 2020, the partners experienced a massive set-back in the wake of Covid-19 emergency, with Milan being particularly hard hit.  The initial timelines and scope of the project were challenged as large events were cancelled and tourist crowds disappeared.  Despite these set-backs, the partners persevered, adapting to the new reality.  In this article, the partners share an update as the project reaches an important milestone.

Living Lab Projects

A key desired outcome of the CityFlows project is to boost the quality and accessibility of urban space through different living lab projects in the three partner cities of Amsterdam, Milan and Barcelona.  Through these city-scale demonstrator projects, the CityFlows CM-DSS software developed by TU Delft and ALTRAN is being tested to illustrate the overall impact of the system and provide management strategies for various types of crowded spaces.  These “living lab” projects are also integral to testing design assumptions and validating the software in different real-life contexts. 

The first living lab project was planned at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena and was supposed to take place during the UEFA EURO 2020 football championship which has been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic outbreak.  The aim of this living lab is to showcase and evaluate the use of the CityFlows CM-DSS software during large sporting events.  The software features a sensor system, including 2D sensors, that will be further built up using data from other sources. The system is fully operational and ready for testing once large sporting events can take place again.  Additionally, the CM-DSS has also been adjusted for Covid-19 management, providing insights for when social distancing can be complicated to be achieved.

Similarly, the Amsterdam Covid-19 living lab represents an alteration to the original project which was supposed to manage crowds during the large-scale SAIL event that was cancelled.  Instead, partners have adapted the operational crowd-monitoring system to monitor social distancing at several busy locations.  Real-time data is produced and analysed by city officials on a daily basis, helping to inform social-distancing measures and communications with the public through dashboards.

Meanwhile, the Barcelona living lab will produce simulations that predict the human behavior around Sagrada Familia.  Data regarding flow dynamics will be collected primarily through RFID technology, providing the input for simulations which will eventually be used to redesign the pedestrian space surrounding Sagrada Familia.  The pilot is currently in the final design stages and will be fully deployed in 2021.

The Milan Central Station living lab will be testing 5G technology through the set-up of a real-time crowd movement assessment system featuring highly sophisticated computer vision techniques.  The municipality, ENEA and ALTRAN have designed a pilot using historical and real-time data collected by fixed and mobile sensors to feed the analysis of the crowd evolution inside the station.  Moreover, the partners are developing an innovative 5G sensor system that analyses and classifies pedestrian movements in CCTV images.

Launching City Analytics

The CityFlows consortium will soon reach a key milestone with the launch of City Analytics. This startup is a vehicle for turning the CityFlows CM-DSS into a license-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) software package available to managers of pedestrian spaces (i.e. public spaces, train stations, event grounds, shopping malls, schools).  Compared to its main competitors, the City Analytics software package is hardware independent, cloud-based, highly scalable, GDPR-proof and highly customisable to the user’s needs. In the upcoming year, City Analytics will further develop the business case, and also connect other means of transport, including bicycle and car flows and public transport.  The software package will be ready to serve interested parties on 1 December.

Knowledge & Educational Activities

A key consideration in launching the CityFlows CM-DSS on a large scale is ensuring that system operators have access to the right knowledge and information to use it effectively.  For this reason, CityFlows partners are developing an impact assessment of the deployment of the CityFlows CM-DSS for various types of crowded places.

Additionally, an educational package considering innovative crowd-management decision-support systems is being developed. This package will be available open-access on the CityFlows website. 

Contact

To learn more about the CityFlows project visit www.cityflows-project.eu or contact:

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Mobility Talks episode 6: “Citizens as drivers of their own mobility”

Join us on 21 October at 16:00 CET to discuss about the role of citizens in decision-making processes regarding urban mobility issues, which is essential to understand and respond to their expectations and real needs.

Citizens and end-users have a say in urban mobility. Their participation in the decision-making process regarding urban mobility issues is essential to understand and respond to their expectations and real needs. By giving citizens the opportunity to influence public decisions on urban mobility, the quality of the policies being developed can be improved, making the provided solutions more relevant, effective and efficient.

Public engagement is a key requirement of sustainable urban mobility transformation. To involve citizens individually or in the form of civil society organisations ensures transparency and gives them the opportunity to become true agents of change.

Engaging citizens is especially important during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, as effectiveness of the response efforts became crucial.

As already stressed in the Citizen Engagement Call launched by EIT Urban Mobility in March 2020, developing solutions with and for citizens is the key to delivering real change. Successful stakeholder engagement will increase the ability to create, experiment, demonstrate, scale and deploy. Citizen engagement is therefore a priority for EIT Urban Mobility and this webinar will bring food for thought and contribute to the discussions on the topic.

We will get insights from four speakers coming from industry, education/research, a cities and from an association directly representing citizens.

OUR SPEAKERS

Frank Hansen
BMW Group Corporate Strategy – Sustainability, Mobility

Robert Braun Senior Researcher, Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna, Austria

Dr. Burcu Özdemir Smart City Director, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Evelien Marlier
Project Manager, European Passengers’ Federation

Two of the speakers are involved in one of the projects selected under the last EIT Urban Mobility Citizen Engagement Call.

Presentations and recordings of Mobility Talks #6

Watch the session now!