Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of future mobility scenarios – replacing conventional transport with a modular autonomous electric vehicle fleet.

Main Presenter: Albert-Jan van Zuilichem 

Co-Authors:

Session: Poster Session 1

Transport accounts for most of the CO2 emissions within city centers. Three points of action have been identified to counter this problem. The first, increasing the efficiency of the transport system, would need to make transportation of people and goods “smarter”. The second, speeding up deployment of low-emission energy for transport requires the easy electrification of transport. The third, moving towards zero-emissions vehicles focuses on the production of low- and zero-emission vehicles. These three points of action are being implemented in a modular autonomous electric-vehicle fleet by the company EDAG GmbH. These modular robots are planned to replace all conventional transport of people and goods inside the City Centre of Frankfurt, Germany. 

To analyze the improvement this system provides compared to conventional transport, a combination of comparative Life Cycle Assessment will be done for future mobility scenarios. Three scenarios have been identified. The first upscales the current modal split with the projected population growth. The second uses the modal split goals of the local government to create a future mobility scenario. The third is the complete uptake of this autonomous electric vehicle fleet to replace the conventional transport. The mobility simulation software MATSim is used to create the future mobility scenarios. These scenarios are then input into LCA software to compare the different use case scenarios. 

Autonomous vehicle fleet’s have been analyzed for the city centers of Hamburg and Berlin. However, these vehicles were not modular. The unique aspect of the CityBots is their modularity. This translates to the possibility for the CityBots to change function based on the demand of certain services at certain times of the day. The services will not only be transport of people and goods but also delivery of packages, waste collection and a plethora of other services. This innovative product will be a step towards smarter, low-emission cities which will be a step forward in the European Strategy for low-emission mobility. Therefore, it is important to analyze the life cycle emissions of these modular robots to see the full picture of their environmental impacts.

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