UPS trialling powered bike trailers in Mayfair

US logistics and deliveries giant UPS is to start trials of electric bike and walker trailers in Mayfair, London later this year as part of a multimillion pound low impact logistics project funded by Innovate UK.

The aim of the project in which UPS is participating is to combine speed, mobility and analytics to provide a sustainable delivery system that could signal a new future for urban courier logistics.

The IP protected prototype of the system that UPS will use will be designed and developed by specialist development product development company Fernhay and technology development company Skotkonung who will help the University of Huddersfield.

Initially the project will be tested by the cycle couriers Outspoken in Cambridge before UPS runs live trials in Mayfair later this year.

Fernhay’s technology is net neutral, so the weight of the trailer is not felt by the handler, allowing for increased last mile deliveries by foot or cycling. Fernhay enlisted Prof Rakesh Mishra of Huddersfield University for the development of the sensors and the data analysis system that will create the “net neutral” effect.

“We are delighted to be part of this exciting project that has the potential to provide substantial costs savings to the freight transport sector as well as significant benefits for the environment.  The combination of our expertise in sensor design and analytics along with the expertise and knowledge of the consortium partners will ensure that we deliver an innovative technology that will have a transformative effect,” said Prof Mishra.

The project, entitled Low Impact City Logistics, is part of a £10 million investment by the UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK.

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