The demand for online delivery is rapidly increasing, and it is expected to contribute to a 30% rise in urban traffic by 2030. However, the last-mile delivery industry faces numerous challenges, including traffic congestion, encroachment on pavements, theft, riots, and adverse weather conditions. These challenges not only pose risks to operators but also impact the overall well-being of citizens.
6.4 billion people
Barcelona Case Study
In cities like Barcelona, the last mile delivery industry faces additional hurdles due to urban masterplans like the superblock, which prioritize pedestrians over cars. While reducing traffic within the superblocks, it increases traffic on main roads. In light of these challenges, the question arises: How will the Last Mile Industry adapt?
Some initiatives explore the use of air carriers such as drones, but they come with their own set of risks and limitations, particularly regarding load capacity for common parcel delivery. In response, the LML system proposes an innovative solution—a dedicated underground infrastructure for the delivery of goods and services, connecting individuals and businesses. This system utilizes a swarm of robots that traverse the underground network, handling the pickup and delivery of goods and services throughout the city.
The exchange of goods takes place through community delivery stations strategically located along the axis of the Superblock. These stations facilitate package exchange within the LML network. To further expand the LML network, two additional components are included: a secondary network to extend the infrastructure within the superblock streets and complementary stations, and a network of warehouses evenly distributed throughout the city to provide additional storage space.
By moving most carrier traffic below ground, these elements alleviate congestion on the streets, allowing pedestrians to enjoy more open urban spaces. The advanced stage of the LML system includes vertical shafts that reach interior spaces such as homes, offices, and retail locations, as well as dedicated warehouses that LML users can personally utilize as storage rooms. The LML system enables various new services, including automated delivery of healthcare products and personal baggage, as well as streamlining everyday use cases like package delivery, food delivery, and furniture management. Its modular design allows it to adapt to the needs of existing and newly planned cities, with the aim of freeing up urban space from carrier parcel flow and making cities more livable.