New White Paper on future of LCVs in cities

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The International Van of the Year jury has launched a White Paper booklet called The Evolution of the Light Commercial Vehicle in the Urban Environment.

The 16-page discussion document is a compilation of contributions from members of the IVOTY with thoughts from research relating to their own country and Europe in general.  Under ten headings, each member looked to the present and future in relation to last mile logistics.

The White Paper aims to highlight logistical issues relating to the continuous population growth in towns and cities.  It begins with the role of the delivery driver and the need to improve efficiencies – an objective that can only be reached through more functional van design and increased input from IT systems.  “Such smart solutions will be the cornerstones of future developments, and will be embedded in LCV design,” the White Paper states.

As City Authorities introduce tighter regulations to beat growing traffic congestion and reduce exhaust emissions, allied to customer demands from e-commerce, an increase in the delivery vehicle parc is imminent.  This is where battery powered electric or hybrid vehicles are best suited.

Autonomous vehicles for this particular arena are being considered by LCV manufacturers, but as yet there are no pan-European regulations covering their design and safe usage.  Safety is a priority and a real challenge, according to the report, “to avoid danger and inefficiencies of unsafe working practices.”

Return on investment, societal acceptance and other possible challenges and solutions are also featured within the guideline chapters.

The White Paper also states: “Technical progress can be used simply to drive business, but it can also be harnessed to improve people’s lives and to shape our urban landscapes.  The future of urban logistics depends on businesses, politicians and Local Authorities working together across the globe to steer innovations on the right course.  Seeking a better, greener and truly sustainable society is a noble and urgent aim, but it will also enable smarter transport and delivery processes, and the evolution of a new breed of LCVs.”

IVOTY Chairman Jarlath Sweeney commented: “Full compliments to the jury members for coming up with the initiative.  It sets a platform for open discussion where all stakeholders can get involved and hopefully their input will lead to a second edition in due course.”