AI for sustainable last-mile delivery by micromobility: a socio-technical perspective

AI and micromobility are both considered as promising solutions for increasing the sustainability of last-mile delivery. While AI solutions may improve the efficiency of last mile logistics, only a shift to clean mobility modes holds the promise of zero emissions. Micromobility such as transport by e-cargo bikes is such a mode. Last mile logistics using e cargo-bikes (ideally with associated micro hubs) can be low cost, flexible and more distributed than traditional delivery modes. Realising the potential of AI logistics for micromobility does however crucially depend on the availability of suitable data (e.g. training sets for ML), while most data practices and AI approaches occur around traditional modes such as vans. This project therefore conducts a socio-technical analysis of how the intersection of two innovations – micromobility and AI-driven last-mile delivery – could lead to more sustainable urban logistics. It identifies opportunities for synergies, but also critically interrogates claims and practices around AI and sustainability. Active micromobility such as cargo-ebikes will be a particular focus.

Frauke Behrendt –
Floor Alkemade –