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The study "Smart Cities - networked living and economic areas" examined and analyzed six aspects of a smart city. Our experts discuss how retail, the real estate industry, energy suppliers, transport companies, mobility providers and administration are helping to make cities smarter and more digital.

Here they provide insights into the contribution that intelligent transport concepts make to the smart city.

Delivery traffic presents cities with challenges

The corona crisis has led to us spending and spending more time at home and often more time in front of the computer. One consequence of this: Online orders have risen sharply since then and delivery traffic has also increased significantly. This presents many cities with major challenges.

While the social debate increasingly revolves around sustainability, the transport industry has changed over the past decade, in particular due to new customer requirements. Not all aspects of this change are compatible with sustainable motives. The rapid upswing in online trading has led to a massive increase in the volume of shipments over the last mile in cities. Deliveries are more frequent, smaller and distributed across a variety of transport service providers.

The key to more sustainability lies in the collaborative optimization of route planning. Transport companies often use route planning software to optimize their tours in the city according to their needs. However, mostly company-specific and based on statistical data. Although well-known congestion areas are avoided, only limited real-time information is available. In addition, companies never have complete transparency about current planning projects of other transport companies. The prevailing lack of transparency leads to traffic jams, high traffic utilization and poorly coordinated traffic flows. One possible solution is offered by collaborative route optimization: road users optimize their route guidance on a platform so that it is always known how many will be using the same route at a certain point in time. In this way, other road users with similar route plans can be diverted as needed. This can already be implemented in private transport. In the B2B context, however, conflicts of interest and the protection of business secrets often stand in the way of joint optimization on a shared platform.

Slot management tools enable transport companies to book time slots for their delivery operations. Deliveries in off-peak times could be offered at correspondingly reduced rates in order to reduce traffic peaks. Fixed capacity limits for certain core times could equalize general delivery traffic. Utilization data from the smart city thus play a key role in the design of a more sustainable economic ecosystem, the major challenge of which is urban intervention in the economic area of transport.

The equalization of delivery traffic requires careful preparation of planning decisions. To this end, the cities should work together with residents, business representatives and interest groups. This is essential for forward planning