New project in Barcelona

The CARNET innovation center will enter a pilot test phase in June in Esplugues de Llobregat. A small autonomous car has six wheels and futuristic appearance. As a result, it can go on the road and through pedestrian areas. Also, the pilot product can get on the sidewalk, and it is hollow inside.

Then, the packages of merchandise will go there, which the robot will distribute within a radius of one kilometer. The objective is to make last-mile parcel delivery more efficient and less polluting. In fact, the rise of electronic commerce, especially after the pandemic, makes congestion in cities more problematic. Thus, this activity is responsible for solving a significant part of pollution and traffic congestion in the cities.

The Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) committed the project called Logismile. This is one of the most outstanding centers for promoting and financing innovation, a body of the European Union. It aims to provide Europe with its own tools and companies to face the challenges of the future and not have to depend of solutions from other regions.

The division dedicated to mobility, the EIT Urban Mobility, has been based in Barcelona since its creation in 2019. With the aim of financing urban innovation projects, it works hand in hand with cities and supra-municipal entities. They are the AMB, an institution with the which has developed several initiatives.


SEAT, Volkswagen Group Research and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) are initiating the Future Mobility Research HUB. It is an open hub for industrial and academic partners from the areas of automotive and mobility research & innovation. CARNET is located in Barcelona, and works through project-based collaboration. The innovation center focuses on innovation and solutions that close the gap between academic research and industrial innovation in urban mobility. There are three areas that it pays attention to.

  • Training & Education: Structuring and adapting to the industrial and societal needs for the education and training of automotive engineers and scientists.
  • Cooperative Research: Promoting a highly applied research and innovation in automotive technology through close cooperation between industrial and academic research institutes.
  • Networking: Participation in European / International networks and competitive calls, creating a high-class automotive research environment in Catalonia.

Mobility era

After the pandemic, more and more consumers are using e-commerce services like Amazon. Especially for the most difficult time of the pandemic, many of us in the world could not go out. Thus, to use e-commerce services was only way to buy some products at that time. However, the problems are more emission of greenhouse gases and congestions in the cities. In addition, delivery, especially for last-mile parcel delivery, needs human power.

Thus, more companies including General Motors have tried to solve the problems. In this sense, fully automated robot can be one of solutions and that is why Barcelona city move the project forward. Of course, self-driving car for parcel delivery is still the stage of development. However, we need tons of trials and errors to make it happen.

What’s more, expertise in technology is different from that in business. Therefore, collaboration different parties in different industries is also crucial. In this sense, the approach from CARNET does make sense. We look forward to hearing next news about their collaboration.