Industrial Design Concept Study: The DISPATCH Urban Delivery System

This DISPATCH concept for an urban delivery system is by Springtime, a Dutch industrial design consultancy with a focus on mobility.

Through technological developments and our changing shopping habits, the parcel delivery market has greatly changed. We want the purchases we ordered online delivered at our doorstep and we want them now! This development has resulted in a tremendous increase in urban delivery miles, mostly still with diesel vans. At the same time, there is an increasing concern about air quality and safety in our cities.

Springtime looked in to this topic and created DISPATCH, a versatile and compact E-cargo vehicle for big cities.

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Overview

With same-day or at least next-day delivery becoming the new standard, a lot of pressure is being put onto the supply chain. The way post and parcel companies use artificial intelligence, IoT, robots, and other innovations will determine their relevance in the future. Although autonomous delivery will play a growing role in parcel delivery, traditional, human delivery will keep playing an important role. Especially for parcels with special delivery requirements and e-groceries delivery, where returns play an important role, human delivery is the only way to go.

Although the entire delivery chain is shifting, in the European landscape, we still see mostly cumbersome diesel vans, half-full, delivering in our city centers. But things are changing. The transition to a car-free city is motivated by an increasing concern around pollution in cities. Removing cars from city-centers is a simple way to tackle air and noise pollution, as well as the ability to reallocate land previously used for vehicle infrastructure such as parking lots and wide roads to bike paths and public space. We see some sustainable initiatives like for instance the Coolblue delivery cargo E-bike in The Netherlands, but obviously these solutions have very limited cargo space.

Piaggio Ape, the affordable urban cargo solution in post WWII Italy

Piaggio Ape

We believe there is an interesting gap to fill, and got inspired by the form-factor and versatility of the legendary Piaggio Ape, an affordable compact commercial single seater 3-wheeled vehicle created after WWII in Italy. The vehicle basically was based on a Vespa scooter and came in various executions such as pick-up, van, rickshaw. DISPATCH is our contemporary (4-wheeled electric) interpretation of the Ape concept.

Minimal full-electric

DISPATCH is a super compact and minimal delivery vehicle, packing a maximum of features in a minimum amount of bodywork. Two 2kW rear hub motors offer a maximum speed of 50 km/h (30mph) while providing enough torque to carry the weight effortlessly. The motors are fed by a series of swappable batteries. While the vehicle is being used, another set of batteries is charging. Just swap and go out again.

Open cockpit

The DISPATCH is a 1-seater. The transparent cabin with minimal bodywork offers great visibility. The (heated) seat provides a straight-up, active riding position and comfort for the rider, ensuring alertness in city traffic. The headrest is equipped with a hands free communication solution that also controls the GPS on the handlebar.

Swappable cargo

The cargo unit is a swappable volume. Like the Piaggio Ape back then, various cargo solutions can be imagined and mounted, such as closed boxes in various volumes as well as pick-up beds or even a ride-hailing solution. The logistic advantage is that the cargo box can be pre-loaded in the warehouse, while the vehicle is still finishing its round.

The depicted fully enclosed cargo box (available in a 1.500 liter, fitting a EPAL Euro pallet, and 2.000 liter option) prevents theft while riding and delivering packages, protects the packages and can be equipped with additional features like cooling or heating. A high roll-up door allows easy access to the cargo.

Use cases

The DISPATCH can be used both independently and as part of a logistic system. Apart from being operated by independent small businesses, we envision vehicles operating from a local hub, or being restocked on the go from a truck.

Size comparisons

Full-electric or power-assist

Based on specific needs and use cases, the DISPATCH can be both a full electric as a power assisted pedal solution. Both options obviously come with their own advantages in terms of range, load, comfort, road accessibility, rider requirements, price point and total cost of ownership.

Electric power-assisted pedal version (L) and a full-electric version (R) based on the same platform

Various cargo solutions can be imagined and mounted, such as closed boxes in various volumes as well as pick-up beds or even a ride-hailing solution. The logistic advantage is that the cargo box can be pre-loaded in the warehouse, while the vehicle is still finishing its round.

Brand applications (fictional, no affiliation with any of the depicted brands)

We are currently looking into partners to further develop DISPATCH and help solve sustainable and on-demand delivery in our high density cities, and to help deliver your packages to your doorstep! We welcome both manufacturers and fleet owners to contact us and discuss opportunities ([email protected])

Source: core77

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