Solutions on BABLE are expert-curated proposals for efficiently implementable Smart City projects. Each Solution contains a list of benefits and a list of functions needed to achieve these benefits, as well as information on the business model, driving factors, relevant legal regulations, advices from experts and links to relevant use-cases and products.
Drone Delivery System
Delivery trucks for parcels are a noticeable part of urban traffic that can be reduced by implementing a drone delivery system. As the market for deliveries is significantly and steadily growing, especially due to the increasing options in online shopping, this becomes even more relevant. Likewise, the delivery market slowly transforms from a mainly B2B market to a B2C market. These developments lead to the increasing importance of the so called ‘last mile’ – the delivery from the closest transportation hub to the final destination. One opportunity to improve the last mile delivery are drones. Autonomous drones can significantly accelerate delivery times and reduce the human costs associated with the delivery.
Electrification of fleets
In order to reduce fossil energy consumption, electric mobility is a key component of creating sustainable transportation. Not only is the transport sector responsible for 30% of total EU CO 2 emissions (72% of which are from road transport), but the rate of emission reductions has also slowed down. Other sectors, such as energy, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and housing, have significantly reduced their CO 2 emissions since 1990, while in the transport sector's CO 2 emissions are higher today than in 1990 due to the ever-increasing role of mobility in our lives (European Parliament, 2019). One solution to reduce transport-related CO 2 emissions is electric mobility. Due to their longer lifespan and lower operational costs, electric vehicles can be financially beneficial. Fleet solutions facilitate the diffusion of electric vehicles rapidly and successfully into the market. Additionally, facilities to charge the electric vehicles are mandatory (Proff, Fojcik 2016, p. 128). The main goal is to diffuse electric mobility for environmental reasons. The overall vehicle population can be reduced by building up electric fleets. Plus, using electric fleets provides opportunities for companies and cities to create an innovative image and to test new technologies. The limited range of electrically driven vehicles is often less of an issue for company- and city-operated vehicles, as shorter distances are primarily covered. Fleet applications offer excellent opportunities for fast and successful diffusion of electric vehicles into the market, paticularyl since e.g. around 60 % of annual new car registrations in Germany are accounted for by companies and the self-employed. After their first commercial use, the vehicles are usually transferred to the used car market after a few years. Electric fleets for companies are thus a catalyst for the wider potential market diffusion of electric vehicles.
Bike Sharing System
A bike sharing system intends to provide a community with a shared fleet of bikes. Therefore, individual users do not have to own a bike, but rather everyone can use the fleet flexibly. Flexible options to use bikes at different locations can increase the attractiveness of biking – and thus the modal share of biking in a city – by providing more convenient options for commuters and recreational users. For each bike sharing system, it is necessary to ensure the accessibility of the bikes and to manage the location and operation of the bikes. European bike sharing systems mostly use a dock-based concept, where bikes can be picked-up and dropped-off at specific locations. New market entrants are also disrupting the European market with free-floating and hybrid systems. Bike sharing systems are most beneficial as part of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) systems. Through collaboration with other shared mobility companies as well as public transport, bike sharing can be conveniently fit into existing mobility platforms through integrated ticketing and pricing. Problems to be solved Congestion Air Quality Climate Change Collision Parking Space I nadequate physical activity Congestion, air quality, climate change, collisions, parking spaces and inadequate physical activity are all ills affecting the quality of life of citizens. Bike sharing reduces land consumption and pollutant emissions by enabling trips that would otherwise be taken by private cars to be taken by shared bicycle transport. Even in urban areas that already have higher levels of cycling and walking, research supports that increased active travel substitutes for motorised travel – including cycling and e-biking – can substantially reduce mobility-related lifecycle CO2 emissions ( Brand et al., 2021 ). Rented shared bikes cover up to 10,000 kilometres a year and are therefore used more frequently than most private bikes. (and associated chronic disease outcomes)
Vehicle Sharing System
Vehicle sharing systems allow customers to use various vehicles without the need to own each vehicle. There are different types of vehicle sharing systems on the market. Differences can include the type of vehicle shared, like car sharing, bike sharing, scooter sharing or electric vehicle sharing. In addition to the type of the vehicle, one main difference between vehicle sharing systems is the vehicle holder. Most commonly, the operator owns the vehicles that are then shared with the users. Another opportunity is peer-to-peer vehicle sharing, in which the citizens share their own vehicles. For each vehicle sharing system, it is necessary to ensure the accessibility of the vehicles and to manage the location and operation of the vehicles. The growth of vehicle sharing systems is driven by urbanisation, increasing smartphone penetration, growth in internet of things (IoT), climate change, regulations, growing awareness about the environment and personal health etc. ( SUNRISE, 2020 ) Problems to be solved GHG emissions Congestion Large space consumption Deficits in intermodality High investment costs Pollution
Electric Bus System
Today in Europe, 25% of total GHG emissions are linked to transport with 8% of the total emissions produced by buses. Therefore, transport systems like Electric Bus Systems are a way to reduce the emissions and improve quality of transport and living. ( UITP, 2019 ) The Electric Bus System is a public transportation system that is operated by electric buses only. As every public transportation system, it can include ticketing, information of customers and a monitoring system. Additionally, facilities to charge the electric buses are mandatory. Due to the charging process, a management system for operation and planning of range as well as route optimisation is even more important than it is with conventional bus systems. (see also SCIS ) Problems to be solved Bad air quality High Costs Noise Lack of Comfort In comparison to conventional engines, Electric Bus Systems are free of emissions locally. Moreover, less noise is produced when driving. While the initial costs for purchasing electric buses may be higher, the overall costs of Electric Bus Systems can be lower than the one of other systems depending on the usage.
Mobility Hubs are places of connectivity where different modes of transportation - from walking to rapid transit – come together seamlessly. One of the key components of mobility hubs is the presence of a large area of influence, which is achieved from the concentration of employment, housing, shopping and/or recreation centres. This integrated suite of mobility services is intended to meet first-last mile needs of transit users through shared and sustainable transportation. It offers different options to users and ensures optimal connectivity. The most beneficial intermodal mobility hubs are mainly implemented close to existing mobility junctions such as train stations, as well as other transit stations. Other elements of mobility hubs include dedicated curb spaces for taxis, energy generation from solar cells, electric vehicle charging stations, interactive kiosks, and amenities like cafes or plazas to create an active space that is welcoming during layovers. Problems to be solved Accessibility Carbon emissions Safety & Security Congestion Convenience Wayfinding
Bi-directional Electric Vehicle Charging
Most cars are idly parked 90-95% of the time. With an accelerated shift to using electric vehicles (EVs), batteries of EVs offer enormous potential in terms of using their vast collective storage capacity as a flexible solution to support the grid, which can be taxed with an intermittent renewable energy supply. Bidirectional electric vehicle charging (V2X) refers to EV chargers that allow not only for charging the battery of the EV but also for taking energy from the car battery and pushing it back to the grid when needed. There are two primary receivers of power from an EV: the grid (V2G) and the electricity from a home or building (V2H). Bi-directional charging creates greater synergy between the clean transport sector and renewable energy sources, as the car batteries can store excess energy created by variable renewable sources such as wind and solar, then provide power to the grid or home when demand is high or energy production is low. This reduces curtailment, lowers the need for grid infrastructure investments and allows for higher renewable energy integration. In addition, V2H charging can act as an emergency power source during power outages and V2G can provide vehicle owners with extra income through arbitrage of time-variable energy prices. Problems to be solved Grid congestion Growing energy consumption Fluctuating generation of renewables Uneven peaks in energy usage
Last Mile Delivery
Due to the growing share of on-line shopping nowadays, an additional sales channel for companies has come up. Internet sales have become an essential part of retail business in recent years. Consequently, the volume of traffic caused by delivery services has increased rapidly with the success of e-commerce. Likewise, the delivery market slowly transforms from a mainly B2B market to a B2C one (e.g. Drone delivery). The final track of the supply chain – home delivery to a customer – is called “Last Mile”. The “Last-Mile” of a delivery poses significant logisticalcal challenges, especially regarding the increasing customer expectations, such as "same day delivery" or "exact time delivery" which leads to the decreasing time available for planning. Furthermore, the “Last mile” has a huge effect in traffic of commercial vehicles in cities. The Last Mile Delivery (LMD) accounts for a major part of the costs involved in a delivery. A research of Capgemini Research Institute showed that the costs of LMD account 41 % of the overall supply chain costs ( Jacobs, Warner et al., p. 20 ). Figure 1 - Distribution of overall supply chain costs ( Jacobs, Warner et al., p. 20 ) In the reality of LMD, challenges like a small or single order compared to deliveries to stores, many constantly changing geographically dispersed locations (compare deliveries to stores) etc. must be faced. The goal is to improve the efficiency of LMD, to minimise costs incurred, improve safety to minimise the impact on traffic as well as minimise the environmental impact. To improve the quality of life in the affected areas, the LMD should become environmentally friendly and emission-free (noise and emissions), the volume of traffic should be reduced to prevent illegal parking, collisions and stressful congestions. Congestion, air quality, collisions and illegal parking are all ills affecting the quality of life of citizens. The accessibility of inner-city locations is becoming more and more limited for cars and trucks in contrast delivery services are growing especially in these dense inner-city areas. There are several solutions to solve these problems that reduce pollutant emissions, lower the impact on traffic, improve safety and make LMD more efficient.
The average city driver spends 6-14 minutes looking for a parking place, and in large cities, the time increases to 18-20 minutes. It is estimated that this time spent searching for a parking lot represents 30% of congestion on city streets. A Smart Parking System makes use of sensors or other technologies to determine the availability of parking lots in cities. This information can be shared with drivers, reducing the time spent looking for parking and thus reducing traffic congestion. Moreover, smart parking can be used to improve the usability at the parking place itself. Parking fees are already part of the cities’ revenues. Implementing a Smart Parking System enables cities to control their traffic better, apply different tariffs according to different areas and hours, and to use per minute rates - instead of flat rates - thanks to new billing models. ( Shoup, 2007; Shoup, 2008 ; IBM, 2011 ) Smart Parking systems and their functions can have several effects that can support the aims of the municipality or the users. The following diagram shows how the different aspects are intertwined. Essential benefits of Smart Parking ( Anke, Scholle, 2016, translated ) Problems to be solved Bad air quality Congestion Underused parking space Park offenders Accidents/ collisions
Public Charging System for Electric Vehicles
The current EU regulation on emissions for cars is the strictest worldwide. Along with further restrictions the thresholds cannot be met with conventional cars only anymore. One alternative technology, reducing the local emissions, are electric vehicles (EVs). For a successful market penetration, a functioning infrastructure is necessary. Customers rank inadequate access to charging stations as the third most serious barrier to EV purchase, after price and driving range ( Mckinsey, 2018 ). Therefore, public charging systems for electric vehicles support the electrification of urban mobility systems. While price and driving range improves each year, chargers can be of different power ranges and charging technologies. In addition, they can be smartly integrated into the local grid and provide information about the system for customers, operators and other stakeholders. For the user experience, it is recommended to include a payment and authentication system, which facilitates the access and enhances the transparency of the charging process. It is also an issue of access to charging stations, as charging is performed while the car is parked, and the possibility to book parking spots (adjacent to the charging station) is legally challenging in many countries. Dedicated parking spots for EV’s only do not solve the issue, as another (fully charged) EV can park for long term on the spot for which one account for charging after arrival. Problems to be solved Growing charging-demand for EVs Carbon Emissions Air pollution