A digital twin (DT) is a virtual equivalent of a physical element or system, called a physical twin (PT). Its function is to create and predict future scenarios as well as changes in an already functioning system and to test its performance capabilities.
The Oslo case focuses mainly on last-mile delivery, the last part of the supply chain, where the parcel reaches the customer’s home directly. The local use case aims to improve this step to harmonise the growing demand for good transportation and the desire to live in safe, traffic-free and attractive environments. Finding new forms of sustainable logistics is crucial to improving people’s quality of life and tackling climate change issues.
The Living Lab involves a micro-hub located near Lysaker, Oslo, close to the main road network and a bus station. The flexible service engages multiple operators, including commuters, NIMBER operators and regular logistics operators. The planned scenarios anticipate several e-vans transporting goods from the shops to the Lysaker Hub. From there, NIMBER couriers and commuters will make further home deliveries. The Oslo case is one of the few that implies crowd shipping of commuters as a possible form of home delivery.
In fact, through this model, private drivers could change their existing routes or undertake new journeys to collect and deliver parcels, as well as public transport users could carry parcels with them on their journeys and deliver them to lockers installed around stations.
Customer characteristics, preferences, and changes in the use of private cars were analysed. This first phase was crucial for the development of the scenarios to be tested, as well as for the understanding of the reality and possibilities to be explored in the business model. In the second phase, a crowdshipping survey was conducted on the supply side to see the level of people’s involvement.
Overall, participants validated the Oslo Living Lab’s experiments, with the discussion providing fruitful insights. For example, dimensions such as curbside accessibility and general access to the buildings could perhaps be included in the Digital Twin updates. Other participants suggested that it might be advantageous if the DT could also include more policy-related strategic actions like introduction of car-free zones, zones with e-cars only etc.
What’s next for the Oslo Living Lab? Partners will adapt the created models to all the data obtained, test new possible scenarios through the living lab and compare the results to try to improve the existing model.