Multimodal delivery in urban areas is the core of the new Ford parcel delivery system. This digital courier service is designed to reduce traffic, reduce emissions and, most importantly, reduce delivery times.
The system proposed by Ford coordinates several modes of transport, including road transport and the work of foot and bicycle couriers. Vehicles act as dynamic delivery hubs that collect parcels from the warehouse and then briefly stop at strategic locations. Ford’s custom software platform cooperates with foot and bicycle couriers located near the delivery van so that they can collect the parcel from the vehicle and deliver it to the addressee. In the future, the system may also include drones and autonomous robots. In this way, the final step of each delivery is completed.
Ford estimates that one delivery van with a team of four couriers (walking or cycling) can be used to deliver the same number of parcels as five individual vehicles.
“For the last mile of a journey into an urban area, where congestion and lack of parking can be a challenge, it makes sense to offload deliveries to more nimble, efficient and cost-effective modes of transport,” said Tom Thompson, project leader at Ford Mobility.
The new solution is currently being tested in London.