Light goods vehicles are an important part of London traffic. With changes to delivery demand and traffic patterns more broadly, they often have a disproportionate impact on the functioning of cities. A team of researchers partnered with companies specializing in last-mile parcel delivery, thereby gaining access to data which allowed them to construct an agent-based model of the last-mile delivery process.
In their work, they expand upon the existing model to incorporate parking behavior, an important factor of delivery driving which is often overlooked in the literature. In doing so, the researchers have incorporated aspects of the physical infrastructure into consideration, as well as driver knowledge and behavior. The inclusion of these important aspects of delivery performance allows us to more meaningfully delve into how interventions in parking regulations, driver training, or infrastructure redevelopment might influence the system overall.
The model presented makes the outcome of different policies and investments a topic which urban planners can more meaningfully compare and discuss. By helping non-specialists explore different trade-offs between proposed interventions, we can help both urban planners and delivery companies understand both how things are now and how they may develop in the future. These changes may have implications on the health of the city, both in terms of the well-being of its citizens and the viability of its economic engine.
By investigating this relatively opaque process now, we can build more resilient systems and urban/academic/industrial partnerships to help steward the city’s development. The tool they present can be used to explore different policy and infrastructure interventions.
Source: Wise, S., Cheliotis, K., Bates, O., McLeod, F., Cherrett, T., Allen, J., … & Bektas, T. (2019, April). Park and parcel: an agent-based exploration of last-mile freight delivery behavior as it relates to parking. In 2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim) (pp. 1-10). IEEE.