Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes Europe have launched their Future Logistics Challenge, which will see the firms work with startups to uncover future delivery solutions.
The challenge, which is open for applications from startups until 23 September, will focus on two areas – ‘Delivery Driver Experience’ and ‘Smart Delivery Vehicles’ – and will explore developments ranging from predictive analysis via multi-modal networks, vehicle infrastructure, artificial intelligence and machine learning, optimisation of communications or digital workflow management through to interactive driver apps.
Ten start-ups will be selected from the pool of applicants and will then be able to thoroughly test their ideas with experts from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes and finely tune their proposed solutions during a two-day boot camp on 21 and 22 October in Berlin.
Two winners will be chosen and will have the chance to develop their approach together with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes Europe in the form of a proof of concept with a starting capital of up to € 125,000.
The latest challenge follows on the back of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles ‘Smart Mobility and Transport’ team’s ‘Innovation Challenge’ in 2018.
“The delivery vehicle is crucially important in the everyday routine of package couriers and is one of the key working resources,” said Susanne Brand, head of innovation at Hermes Europe. “The environment on the ‘last mile’ is tremendously important for parcel logistics and is becoming more and more demanding: the quantities of consignments are growing while space within inner cities is becoming increasingly scarce and the search for couriers ever more challenging. Digital concepts that connect vehicles, couriers and logistics processes with each other to the optimum and in a new way offer great potential for making the work of parcel couriers easier and at the same time more efficient.”
VWCV also commented on the challenge, highlighting how the changing face of last-mile deliveries is seeing the company change from a pure vehicle manufacturer to a mobility services provider.
Artur Hasselbach, head of new business development at VW Commercial Vehicles, said: “Innovative customers not only need innovative vehicles but also innovative mobility solutions together with appropriate concepts and partners. In order to meet these new requirements, we are changing from a vehicle manufacturer to a platform operator or participant so that we are able to promote both internal and external innovations.”
For more details on the Future Logistics Challenge and to apply, click here.