The pollution issues faced cities require collaborative working between a number of partners and actors. This is no different in freight and logistics, where the responsibility for tackling such an issue lies with a number of parties from operators to city authorities. Whilst industry initiatives like FORS exist, tackling pollution is still mainly a ‘nice to do’ as opposed to a ‘must do.’
We are not alone in thinking that this view needs to change, and to change quickly. We are pleased to be working with the City of London Corporation (a FORS Gold Operator and a contractor of a FORS Gold-rated refuse collection service) on an Innovate UK-funded feasibility project.
This funding will set out the feasibility of our IOT-based ’emissions as a service’ approach that integrates fleet telematic, location data with air quality, noise and particulate matter data at operator’s depots and client sites. Linked to an action planning and impact-forecasting capability, it gives proof of emissions compliance and importance of the impact of management decisions to those making them.
The feasibility study will answer a number of questions that will help us to develop our product offering:
* The process to integrate vehicle telematics and location data with site-based emissions and noise monitoring data.
* The data requirements for the management data (dashboards and reports) needed to assess the environmental impact for a depot and its fleet, for customer’s premises, linked to the freight vehicles serving it
* The emissions/noise action-planning and improvement forecasting requirements of fleet managers and site managers
* The success of the EMSOL platform to provide FORS standard compliance reports
* The added value of the EMSOL platform compared to more traditional roadside emissions monitoring stations
* The market size and willingness to pay and charging mechanism for the EMSOL platform and premises-based sensors
All of these questions are important to answer to further develop the platform and offering to the market. But what has been encouraging from this project is the recognition from a Gold standard operator and from the UK Government that our idea is worthy of investment. And it is so because not only is the product offering exciting, but the opportunities it can realise, and the challenges it can help tackle are very real.
For public authorities, the noise and emissions challenges citizens face in major urban areas are very real. Smart infrastructure and connected transport offer a real opportunity to meet these challenges across modes of transport and soft and hard urban systems. This will also reduce the emissions footprint and impact of sites and operations, improving their sustainability, with subsequent benefits to fleet operators.