This project is a summer internship hosted by the Ericsson Garage, at Ericsson Research, and driven by Strategic Design, also at Ericsson Research. The project team consists of six students, two with interaction and product design background (UID) and four from various engineering programs (KTH). The designers will lead the concept and narrative development, meanwhile the engineering part of the team will be responsible for prototyping parts of the concepts.
The theme is micro-mobility, and the project will work on some sort of shared last mile logistics system for urban environments. The task for the summer project 2017 is to develop and prototype a concept for distributed micro-logistics of small and medium sized deliveries: A local urban transport service for individual small and medium sized parcels that “travel” independently using local, multimodal, public, lightweight, dynamic, shared/community-driven and sustainable means of transportation.
Parts of the project will be prototyped and it is planned to make some kind of connected delivery/logistics system that can run in Kistagången. The project is #NotBoring as it will describe, provoke and illustrate how urban mobility and logistics could be done differently in a way that both creates a better experience for citizens and makes it more sustainable.
A community driven system implies that you as a citizen would have to take part in this new logistics system.
To really test this the students created a small delivery service built on people’s kindness. By making small boxes with addresses and instructions on them they tried to send packages by asking strangers to bring it closer to its final destination. With the use of this technology, it can fundamentally change the way logistics work. There is no need to approach a company anymore, as anyone can be an agent in the system. Anyone can transport goods.
The container serves multiple purposes. It locks the content inside and keeps it secure making it only accessible for sender and receiver. It keeps track of its whereabouts giving people information about time, progress and delivery status. It also locks itself to fixed points only allowing transporters in the system to lift it and bring it along on their journey. We imagine these platforms and boxes to be placed where people move around a lot. Probably closely linked to the public transport system but it could potentially be anywhere.
Using smart contracts, every transaction is controlled, creating trust between the agents and facilitating the use of the system. Also, every payment (using cryptocurrencies) will get directly to the ones doing the service, taking the middle man out of the equation, while empowering common citizens to be part of the system and be rewarded by the common daily commute.
To really build a logistics system that can disrupt the actual goods-transport and empower the community to use more sustainable transport systems in the city, can be a key component in the improvement of the quality of life in metropolitan areas. The hope is that this goods-transport system will encourage regular citizens to leave their cars at home and instead help each other to move things throughout their community, while at the same time reduce the need for lorries to transport goods in the inner city. It could also lead to new potential services, and use cases, as citizens could find new ways of improvent the system.
By using the blockchain as a technology in the base of the system, it becomes descentralized and becomes owned by the community itself, thus empowering normal citizens with the development of the system.The students explored some potential different uses, and found that some could be both useful and entertaining.
“This project have been one of discussion and new technology. We have been challenged with new ideas and worked with new people in a new environment. That resulted in some tricky decisions and not always the smoothest journey. However, it led to an unexpected outcome and an interesting project. Just hearing people’s thoughts and concerns about the topic has been very rewarding. It seems to generate new questions, and that is exactly what we want! Hopefully projects and collaborations like this can help us design future cities and discuss the issues that might follow!” says student Anton Lööf.