Tech Day: An Annual Pitch Competition
The Urban Freight Lab's annual Tech Day pitch competition serves as a model for our members and public sector partners to evaluate new technologies to determine their efficacy to meet business needs and city goals, and for product designers to gain exposure and receive feedback. Each Autumn we issue a Call for Proposals for innovators designing solutions for the last mile of the urban goods delivery system around a different theme.
One grand prize is awarded to the best product, based on viability, feasibility, market potential, business application, and presentation quality.
2021: Electrifying the Final Mile focused on finding solutions to make the final mile of delivery more environmentally sustainable, by increasing adaptability of charging infrastructure, managing and measuring performance of e-cargo bikes, electric delivery bots, and eVTOLs, and making scalable delivery technologies. The grand prize winner was FlexiModal's BicyLift and Runner Trailer; semifinalists were KUHMUTE's Universal Charging Network for Micromobility, re:Charge-e's E-Cargo Bike Charging Infrastructure, and Scootility's Utility Scooter Optimized for Last-Mile Delivery of Light Goods.
2020: Last-Mile Delivery in the New Normal focused on increasing the speed and efficiency of last-mile delivery, reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability, dealing with limited city infrastructure, and reducing user and operator cost. The grand prize winner was OnRout, a real-time bidding platform for shipping carriers, and semifinalists were Tortoise (a 100% electric remote-controlled sidewalk delivery cart for grocery, parcel, and retail delivery), Zown (an intelligence platform for food delivery drivers using data provided by residents), and Arrived (a software that provides carriers with destination intelligence).
2019: Transforming the Final 50 Feet of Delivery focused on reducing parking seeking behavior in dense urban areas, improving commercial vehicle parking space productivity, reducing the rate of failed first deliveries, and reducing dwell time for delivery vehicles. Semifinalists were Coord (a dynamic curb management system with changing conditions in real time based on need, improving vehicle parking space productivity and reduce parking-seeking behaviors in dense urban areas), Populus: (a dynamic curb loading zone and pricing pilot that builds communication flows between fleet operators such as goods delivery and ride-hailing vehicles to improve efficiency curb usage), StoreX (a high-density storage and retrieval machine, reducing the rate of failed first deliveries and reducing dwell time through creating density), and Sucasa (a delivery hub network of neighbors receiving packages on behalf of neighbors, reducing the rate of failed first delivery and reducing dwell time through creating density).
2018: Technological Disruption and Innovation in Last-Mile Delivery focused on reducing parking seeking behavior, improving parking productivity in commercial vehicle load zones, reducing failed first deliveries, and reducing dwell time for delivery vehicles. Semifinalists were Cleverciti, Havyn, Parkunload, and Udelv.
2017: Innovative Freight Technologies focused on reducing failed first delivery attempts in cities and reducing the time delivery trucks park at the curb, in an alley, or in an underground freight bay. Semifinalists were Civic Smart, Hurdler Motors, and Metris LiveQ.
About the Urban Freight Lab (UFL): The Urban Freight Lab is a structured partnership of academic researchers, public sector agencies, and private sector firms — shippers, retailers, tech providers, property owners, and manufacturers — working collaboratively to identify complex urban freight management problems and design solutions to make industry more efficient and cities more sustainable, livable. Since launching in December 2016, the UFL has completed an innovative suite of research projects on the Final 50 Feet of delivery, providing foundational data and proven strategies to help cities reduce truck dwell times in load/unload spaces, and failed first delivery attempts by carriers, which lowers congestion, emissions, and costs.
About the Final 50 Feet Research Program: The Urban Freight Lab’s Final 50 Feet research program designs and tests solutions to improve delivery at the end of the supply chain—beginning at a load/unload parking space at the curb, in an alley, or in a private loading bay, and maneuvering through sidewalks, intersections, and building security, and ending with the final customer. This final segment of the supply chain is the most difficult and expensive (estimated at between 25-50% of total supply chain transportation costs).