Smartfusion is a public-private partnership (PPP) which builds upon the existing urban freight development strategies of three demonstrator city-regions: Newcastle, Berlin and the Lombardy region. It demonstrates smart urban freight solutions in urban-interurban supply chains.
- To introduce the concept of the European Green Car Initiative in last mile operations
- To introduce innovative technology developments in the fields of urban freight planning, vehicles and urban-interurban transshipment
- To develop comprehensive and transferable impact assessment models for smart urban freight solutions.
Smartfusion develops and demonstrate novel transport innovations that will improve the efficiency, as well as the social and environmental sustainability, of urban freight operations and the related urban- interurban shipment processes.
The main objectives can be summarised as follows:
- To enhance the innovation process at urban-interurban interfaces;
- To demonstrate and evaluate the technical and logistical feasibility of introducing electric vehicles and the second generation of hybrid truck technology into the business environment;
- To apply these vehicle technologies, in conjunction with information technology and operational, managerial and regulatory innovations, including urban consolidation centres and telematics systems.
- To determine the critical success factors in stimulating the market uptake of new sustainable vehicle technology and other innovations in the urban logistics environment.
- To develop a Smart Urban Designer tool that allows other city-regions and company supply chains to analyse the likely success and benefits of applying these innovations in their domain.
The Smartfusion project is predicated on delivering innovation, demonstration, impact assessment and transferability. The project has a clear view of the main goals for all the public and private partners, but also recognises that the exact nature of the innovations and the demonstrations needs to be localised in each demonstrator region. It begins with 80% of the proposal clearly envisaged, but it will be essential to address the crucial 20% through concertation and consensus.
The methodology to achieve this can be summarised as follows:
Design and Monitoring Frameworks, utilising PPMS methodology to deliver a Design and Monitoring Framework for each city-region, with a clear statement as to the goals that the innovations will address. Workshops will be held in Newcastle (UK), Berlin (Germany) and the Lombardy region (Italy).
Innovation and development is one of the core parts of the project and participants come to the project with clear goals and objectives, guided by the localism required by the city-regions (informed by Design and Monitoring Frameworks), innovating from that objective and the internal goals of the private partners. Innovation and development is divided into 4 main sections: vehicle innovations; green planning & routing; urban-interurban logistics innovations; policy innovations.
Demonstrations of the innovations, in a local context. These are run in the city-regions, using the design and monitoring frameworks, with the developed innovations and with a view to providing measurements.
Impact Assessment and Smart Urban Freight Designer delivers both a harmonised and standardised analysis and impact assessment for the demonstrations, but also a standardised impact assessment methodology for urban freight initiatives. This has been lacking in all European initiatives in this field for 4 decades. With the development of the Smart Urban Freight Designer, the project goes beyond the previous knowledge-sharing tools and encapsulates the project's work for future use.
The expected impacts from Smartfusion can be summarised as the implementation of a more efficient urban freight distribution system and a sustainable European transport and mobility network within urban centres efficiently linked with long distance transportation.
Smartfusion is a necessary and essential step to improving the sustainability and competitiveness of European freight transport systems. The main expected impacts can be presented as follows:
- Demonstrating the simultaneous implementation and operation of urban consolidation centres, vehicle telematics systems and urban freight policy measures.
- Devising a standardised and objective methodology for data collection and analysis, as well as impact assessment, across the demonstrations, that can also be used for other future freight projects.
- Developing a Smart Urban Freight Designer tool that will allow other urban policy makers, users and operators to consider the potential applicability of these solutions to their city-regions and supply chains.
- Determining the critical success factors in stimulating the market uptake of new vehicle technology and other logistics innovations tested in the project, thereby increasing the viability of the implementation of the innovations in other city-regions and supply chains.
The work of Smartfusion is based on past and ongoing research activities and focuses on developing an integrated concept for urban-interurban logistics solutions focusing on last mile processes.
It will promote and implement the concept of green fleets in urban delivery, building on work of the EC Green Car Initiative.