Wolfgang Lehmacher is a textbook author, entrepreneur and Director of Supply Chain and Transport Industries at the World Economic Forum and has recently described scenarios regarding the change in urban space in various publications. We have compiled a selection and short description of these designs for the future, which will also have extensive effects on logistics:
Building automation increases
Smart homes will increasingly manage their own regulation and maintenance. Shutters and heating systems will react to the presence of the residents as well as weather conditions and it will be possible to control and monitor them using a smartphone app when not at home.
Domestic appliances are networked by default
Home appliances will also become increasingly smart. The fridge orders replenishment and pays by means of cryptocurrency or the washing machine can be checked through by means of remote maintenance.
Mobility develops into a service
Access to individual mobility is no longer tied to owning a means of transport. In city centers in particular, having your own car to guarantee mobility will become more and more unattractive and will be replaced by networked, flexible mobility services. The method of transport that currently suits the individual requirements best will be selected. The different modes of transport from private transport and public transport will be networked together more and integrated into a comprehensive mobility service.
Mobile devices provide central monitoring
All booked services, dispatched items, subscriptions and smart equipment can be tracked from anywhere at any time using a smartphone or other mobile device. One glance at a smartphone provides information about the current status; many processes can also be influenced or controlled using a smartphone. The smartphone becomes a remote control for everything.
Traffic density increases
Parking spaces will continue to be in short supply. One more reason why having your own car will be increasingly regarded as a burden. On top of this, the worsening dearth of parking spaces for delivery vehicles as a result of the considerable increase in online trading and KEP services.
Mobility will have fewer harmful emissions
Alternative drive systems will be preferred in order to prevent air and noise pollution from increasing further in metropolitan areas. Electric motors will power both cars and bicycles.
3D printing makes cost-effective production with a batch size of 1 feasible. This means that shoes can be produced specifically for the wearer’s feet, for example. In the future, there will be a large market for personalized products that are ordered digitally and delivered to your door.
Every light has its shadow. With the increase in digital data, the illegal misuse of this data stock also becomes an increasing problem.
Restructuring the last mile
When combined, many of the scenarios above tap into a central logistical task: the final delivery. Delivery becomes the bottleneck with the increase in traffic and changing shopping behavior – which cannot be provided by over-the-counter trade any more for personalized products, for example. This especially applies in urban areas. A wide variety of concepts are currently being tested in order to solve this problem. These range from parcel boxes outside front doors to futuristic delivery robots and micro-depots used collectively by the different KEP service providers.