Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes Europe, with the support of the startup accelerator betahausX, have launched the Future Logistics Challenge that aims to generate the best possible synergies between parcel logistics, the automotive sector and startups to find innovative solutions for the parcel delivery courier vehicle.
From July 11 to September 23, startups from all over Europe are being called on to apply with ideas that redefine the categories of Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicle, and thus support the work of tens of thousands of parcel delivery operatives all over Europe and make them more efficient.
Ten startups will be selected from the pool of applicants and will then be able to thoroughly test their ideas with experts from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes, and finely tune their proposed solutions during a two-day boot camp on October 21 and 22 in Berlin.
On November 5, the 10 finalists will have the opportunity to present their proposed solution to a high-calibre panel of judges in betahaus Berlin. The two most promising approaches will receive support of up to €125,000 (US$141,000), enabling them to continue developing their solution with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Hermes Europe to produce a proof of concept.
“The delivery vehicle is crucially important in the everyday routine of package couriers and is one of the key working resources,” explained Susanne Brand, head of innovation at Hermes Europe. “The environment on the last mile is tremendously important for parcel logistics and is becoming more and more demanding: the quantities of consignments are growing while space within inner cities is becoming increasingly scarce and the search for couriers evermore challenging. Digital concepts that connect vehicles, couriers and logistics processes with each other to the optimum and in a new way offer great potential for making the work of parcel couriers easier and at the same time more efficient.”
For more information on Future Logistics Challenge and the options for applying, click here.