POR FESR 2014/2020 – Public notice ‘Sustainable and Smart mobility’ referred to in Det. n. G08725 of 29 July 2016 – Integrated Projects
The Duel project “Optimization of the delivery of goods in the metropolitan area”, has been recognized by Lazio Innova S.p.A. as deserving of public contribution, given its social and innovative value. The project started in December 2017. All activities were completed in January 2019.
The aim of the project was to develop an ICT service platform and a virtual assistant that, using traffic information from various sources, vehicle performance data and sophisticated optimisation algorithms, would assist the driver and the transport company in implementing innovative distribution schemes, both through dynamic route and delivery planning and through smart vehicle monitoring, in order to optimize the service in terms of business profitability, reduction of environmental impact and benefits for city residents and users.
Drivers’ access to the services has been made possible both through web applications and through native mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms, which can be installed on drivers’ smartphones and possibly interfacing with the CAN Bus of the vehicle to acquire useful data for performance calculations.
For larger fleets, a dedicated device has been made available, developed on the TomTom Bridge hardware platform, which can be installed onto the vehicle and interface with the CAN Bus and possible NFC (Near Field Communication) devices for driver identification.
Innovative project features
The project aimed to develop services that complement those offered by traditional fleet management systems, dedicated to assisting drivers during the fulfillment of the mission and optimizing their performance as opposed to the management of the fleet as a whole.
Indeed, the system is designed to offer its functions both directly, by means of graphical interfaces accessible from browsers and applications for mobile devices, as well as to other applications, by means of appropriate APIs, agnostic with respect to the programming language used, which make it possible to integrate it with third party infrastructures.
The developed service platform introduces a paradigm shift with respect to existing systems in terms of planning the transport vehicles missions, moving from planning based on static information to real-time dynamic information planning based on the most important aspect that determines the efficiency of the distribution service: traffic in large urban areas.
Another unique aspect of the project is the use of a virtual assistant: a software system that follows drivers along their route, informing them regarding traffic conditions, the next steps of the delivery schedule and any other event of interest, using voice messages for evident safety reasons.
Finally, the proposed system allows the company to measure the performance of drivers and vehicles, by acquiring the necessary data from the mobile device and CAN Bus of the vehicle, with which it interfaces via OBD-Bluetooth converters and processing them to obtain both real-time information, such as emissions and fuel consumption, and more complex information resulting from the data processing of the entire mission or a
a number of missions.
This information is made available through reports and dashboards provided by the platform interfaces. In this context, the project aims to include a smart freight vehicle fleet management system that, through the use of technology, is able to provide a solution to urban logistics problems.
Project testing and results
Duel has conducted the testing phase of the platform and the services it provides in partnership with two companies in the industry.
For testing, TomTom® Bridge devices were installed on four vehicles.
After entering the desired destinations on the web service platform, the systems worked out for their drivers the most efficient delivery schedule for the most efficient route to be taken in real time.
The planning system allowed the driver to always follow the optimal route, taking into account city traffic and timeframes.
During the execution of the delivery schedule, the driver was proactively alerted in case of traffic and viability problems and was advised to re-plan if this proved to be advantageous with respect to the initial planning.
On board, diagnostic devices installed on the OBD door measured the vehicle’s performance in terms of time saved and fuel consumed, in relation to the driver’s behavior.
Both companies have responded positively to the encouraging results resulting from the use of the devices.
Based on the technological results achieved, Duel has subsequently industrialized the new platform under the name Urban Logistics.