Off-peak pilot Stockholm

In collaboration with research centres ITRL, ECO2 and CTS, KTH has since 2014 led an initiative on Urban goods delivery during night time in Stockholm, temporarily lifting the ban on heavy trucks between 22-06. The research has confirmed the potential of off-peak delivery; e.g. increased transport efficiency and thus profitability, lower emissions and better street space usage.

With the rapid worldwide urbanization, the UN estimates that 55 % of the world’s population resides in urban environments with projections reaching 68 % by 2050, the challenges related to quality of living and sustainable development in urban environments have become a major concern. One such challenge is related to delivery of goods, where transport efficiency must be balanced against pollution from noise and other emissions. To avoid the negative impacts of increasing urban congestion, and to reduce drastically emissions such as carbon dioxide or fine particles, recent initiatives such as reallocating part of the traffic to off-peak hours has been undertaken. However, shifting transport operations to night-time poses a number of challenges related to the quality of the urban environment.

KTH, in a collaboration between the Centres ITRL, ECO2 and CTS, has since 2014 led an initiative on Urban goods delivery during night time in Stockholm, temporarily lifting the ban on heavy trucks between 22-06. The research has confirmed the potential of off-peak delivery; e.g. increased transport efficiency and thus profitability, lower emissions and better street space usage. However, the study also strongly highlighted the challenge to meet the requirements in terms of noise emissions, in particular during night and in areas with a low background noise level.

Significance of impact case

With the rapid population growth and concentration, the concept of smart cities has emerged in order to respond to the challenge of quality of living and sustainable developments of these urban environments [2]. In particular, noise pollution, identified as one of the major health concerns in these settings is typically generated by road traffic, railways, airports, and industry. With impact on health conditions such as increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, depression, nervousness, anxiety, and mood swings [3], as well as a decrease in overall productivity [4], long-term exposure has been recommended to be limited to noise levels of 55 dB (yearly average indicator) during day time and 40 dB during night time by the World Health Organization [5], i.e. levels 1 well below the levels observed in most urban areas, with estimates of some 125 million Europeans exposed to road traffic noise above 55 dB (Lden).

The key idea behind the present impact case is to move from statistical long-term average based noise data to a real-time noise mapping technology with event tracking capability. This can then overcome the current locking environmental issues associated with noise and its impact on health, and of- fer a solution supporting both the application of emerging regulations and the possible development of a pricing system targeting individual contributors.

Reach of impact case

The long term beneficiaries of the impact are the residents of Stockholm, or of any other major city throughout the world. The intermediate beneficiaries are: 

  • Stockholm municipality; in the form of tools and methods for assessing and monitoring the off-peak delivery activities.
  • Vehicle industry; such as Scania, Volvo, ...; in the form of guidance for further improvements on vehicle technology related to drive lines etc.
  • Transport service providers; such as Svebol, Bring, DHL, add more.... Manufacturers of add-on equipment and goods handling devices; such as

Evidence

The following individuals can be contacted to provide testimonials : contact details to those affected by the claimed impact:

The following popular science, and general press coverage, popular articles, interviews, ..., may be noted:

Impact creating activities

Stockholm municipality (Trafikförvaltningen) has during spring 2019 organised two workshops focussing on the off-peak delivery implementation on a permanent basis in Stockholm. The research performed at KTH has been an important input to these discussions involving (see above) the vehicle industries as well as manufacturing companies providing add-on equipment and handling devices. List of represented industries: SKAB, Sala sk ̊ap, Hiab/Zepro, Therkomking, Hultsteins, Toyota Industries, Jung Heinrich, K-Hartwall, Scania, Volvo, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Daf, Iveco.

Underlying research/education activities

The off-peak pilot study has been performed in collaboration between researchers from transport science and vehicle engineering. To address the questions re- lated to transport efficiency, knowledge and methods from transport modelling including data-driven traffic and mobility management, travel time predictions based on probe vehicle data, etc., have been used. To address the noise emis- sions problem knowledge and methods related to sound and vibration research; including noise measurement techniques, sound propagation modelling, noise source modelling, signal analysis, etc., have been used.

The following KTH Centres have been active in the research: ITRL, CTS and ECO2.