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Autonomous delivery vehicle (ADV) first prototype

GLAD - Goods delivery under the Last mile with Autonomous Driving vehicles

Small autonomous electric delivery vehicles are expected to transform freight transport under the first and last mile. The benefits are increased efficiency, but it is also important that these vehicles are safe and accepted in society. The GLAD-project focuses on safety and acceptance of small autonomous electric delivery vehicles.

GLAD autonomous delivery vehicle (ADV) first prototype
GLAD - en första prototyp av ett självkörande leveransfordon

Demand for goods delivery in cities is increasing rapidly, especially due to the growing e-commerce. An increase of 78% is expected between today and 2030. Without measures, delivery-related carbon dioxide emissions could increase from 19 to 25 million tonnes over the next ten years. Recent advances in electrification and automation are expected to reduce emissions by up to 67% by 2030. Small autonomous electric delivery vehicles, that are in focus for the  GLAD project, are expected to transform freight transport during the first and last mile. The benefits are increased transport and energy efficiency, but it is also important that these vehicles are safe and accepted in society.

The purpose of the project is to develop an initial knowledge base on efficiency, safety and experience of small autonomous electric delivery vehicles during the first and last mile in Sweden, and how to create a balance between these three aspects from a socio-technical perspective. Interactions with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers of conventional vehicles as well as remote operators, goods receivers and loading personnel will be in focus. The research questions are:

  •  What function are small electric autonomous delivery vehicles expected to play in the transport chain in Sweden and which application areas have the most business potential? How will business models, taxes, incentives and regulations need to be developed?
  • What are the characteristics of interactions with small electric autonomous delivery vehicles, and what is required to create efficient, safe, and attractive goods delivery? What are the requirements for the digital and physical infrastructure
  • What methods are suitable for evaluating small self-driving delivery vehicles in terms of safety, efficiency, and experience?

To explore these questions, the project will use Zbee vehicles that will be adapted in three iterations in terms of vehicle design and driving behavior, interface (HMI), remote operation and fleet management to enable realistic user studies. The project will provide unique knowledge to industry, infrastructure managers, authorities and research community, and thereby strengthen Swedish international competitiveness. This is also ensured by linking a licentiate candidate to the project.

The overall goal is to develop knowledge that will accelerate the introduction of new efficient freight transportation solutions in our society and contribute to achieving the goals for Agenda 2030. The project is led by RISE with Aptiv, Combitech, Clean Motion and Halmstad University as project partners. It is co-financed by the Swedish Transport Administration and is associated with the SAFER research center.

The GLAD team is multidisciplinary


Project name





Västra Götaland Region

RISE role in project


Project start


2.5 years

Total budget

SEK 11 690 000


Aptiv, Clean Motion, Halmstad University,, Combitech



Project members

External press

Supports the UN sustainability goals

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Contact person

Mikael Söderman

Senior Forskare

Read more about Mikael

Contact Mikael
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