Friday, November 11th, 2022
Six European Cities join efforts to experiment with Digital Twins for Urban Logistics
The H2020 funded LEAD Project: Low-Emission Adaptive last mile logistics supporting ‘on Demand economy’ through digital twins. LEAD will create Digital Twins of urban logistics networks in six cities, to support experimentation and decision making with on-demand logistics operations in a public-private urban setting.
The dawn of on-demand logistics poses many challenges to operators, struggling to accommodate citizen expectations for responsive logistics systems, that deliver products at low or even zero cost. Such is the case for small and large-scale consumer platforms, pledging swift delivery times, with little market economic incentives for the creation of sustainable systems. The so-called “Uberisation of logistics” is putting increased pressure on cities, which are now facing potentially negative consequences of this phenomena, alongside unpredictability of market developments.
That is how Digital Twins come in: they consist of a 3D digital replica of a complex real-world urban environment and represent different processes, actors, and their interaction. The virtual version of the model reproduces its physical counterpart in a realistic, complex, and dynamic way.
Initially developed as a supportive element in the processes of product lifecycle management in manufacturing, Digital Twins are becoming increasingly popular for predictive urban planning. Interactive platforms capture and display the 3D urban environment via real-time data feeding, to improve planning from long-term infrastructure investments to near-real-time service operations. The Digital Twin evolves with the city by bringing in data from a variety of sources and by receiving real-time city data through sensors. Changes within the real-world automatically update the virtual models through online processes.
LEAD will create Digital Twins of urban logistics networks in six cities (Madrid, The Hague, Budapest, Lyon, Oslo and Porto), 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. The Digital Twin for each Logistics Living Lab will work as a virtual ‘living’ equivalent of the intervention area, integrating data sources, and allowing the modelling of possible strategies to deal with problems before and as they occur.
This process will enable the development of a wide variety of solutions for shared, connected, and low-emission logistics operations, driven by an approach to adaptive and Digital Twins models. These Agent-based models (ABM) will enable stakeholders in the field of urban logistics to recognise their roles and business models, as well as all relevant operational, tactical and strategic decisions in these Digital Twins, reflecting value cases in urban reality.
In the long run, LEAD seeks to design an Open Physical Internet-inspired framework for Smart City Logistics, incorporating this system to lay the foundations for the deployment of large-scale Digital Twins.
LEAD is coordinated by EMT Madrid, counting with the involvement of 27 partners, from 9 European countries, the USA, and China, with a complete value chain of actors including City and Logistics stakeholders, Research organisations and SMEs.
LEAD will showcase the results of the project at the ALICE booth and will welcome all people keen to know more, on: