This statement provides the possibility of planning and implementing consolidation centres to connect multimodal transport in urban areas that are often located on the outskirts of cities.”
In addition to inland waterways and other conventional transport modes, the concept of multimodality has been extended to automated transport and drones as well as cargo bikes. Such innovative modes are expected to increase their share in urban logistics, notes Li.
“To prepare for the future, multimodal terminals and logistics hubs to connect such modes are essential. The use of such innovative modes, e.g. automated delivery robots, drones and cargo bikes, will require micro-logistics hubs close to customers. New regulations on the use of urban space, for both parking and routing and safety will be needed, but this has not been covered by the framework.”
SMART URBANE TRANSPORT
Automated transport, combining passenger and freight transport, has also been piloted by several Horizon 2020 projects (e.g. LEAD and SPROUT). In the recently launched URBANE project, delivery robots using public transport will be tested. Similarly disruptive solutions will challenge current regulatory frameworks for public transport. The combination of passengers and freight transport has enormous potential to increase efficiency of the transport network.
“To ensure seamless connectivity, multimodal hubs that can optimise usage of all type of transport modes are essential,” says Li, who is also a member of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Urban Mobility (EGUM). “Digital solutions that can increase efficiency of multimodal hubs and the overall network need to be developed and implemented. Any digital solutions will require data from various transport modes and stakeholders. The framework states in several contexts the importance of data collection and data sharing between the public and the private sector. It recognised a lack of consistent collection of urban mobility data for monitoring and data-driven policy-making.