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Goods deliveries under the Last mile with Autonomous Delivery vehicles

Small autonomous electric delivery vehicles could be part of the transformation of freight transports under the first and last mile. The benefits are transport and energy efficiency, but these types of vehicles must also be safe and accepted in society. The GLAD project has investigated how this could be achieved.

The demand for goods deliveries in cities is increasing, not least due to growing e-commerce, and is expected to increase by 78% by 2030. Without action, transport related CO2 emissions could increase from 19 to 25 million tons over the next ten years. Advances in electrification and autonomous vehicles are expected to reduce emissions by up to 67% by 2030. Small autonomous electric delivery vehicles could contribute to this through efficient and more sustainable first and last mile transports..

The overall aim of the GLAD project has been to develop a broad knowledge base on prerequisites, obstacles and opportunities for small autonomous electric delivery vehicles and how these can interact with people. The main issues were:

  • How can people, as road users and as staff in freight terminals, understand and perceive small, automated delivery vehicles as safe and reliable?
  • What technical conditions are required for efficient and safe deliveries with small, automated delivery vehicles?
  • What type of vehicle can small, automated delivery vehicles be classified as and what consequences can it entail?
  • What types of last-mile transports could small, automated delivery vehicles be able to carry out and which might have the greatest potential?

During the project, various prototypes have been developed with a Zbee vehicle as a base for, among other things, studying the vehicle's driving behaviors, interfaces (HMI) for interaction with humans, control and monitoring of the vehicle's functions. The GLAD project has produced several interesting results that can provide useful knowledge to industry, authorities and to the research community.

The following reports from the project are published on DIVA and are open to download:

Summary report: GLAD Godsleveranser under den sista milen med självkörande fordon - sammanfattning av GLAD-projektet/Goods deliveries under the last mile with automated delivery vehicles – a summary

Typical and critical traffic situations with small electric delivery vehicles – indications for future Automated Delivery Vehicles

Use cases and high-level requirements for safe interactions between automated delivery vehicles and human operators in a terminal

Challenges and potential business applications of Automated Delivery Vehicles – a brief overview

Development of self-driving and control room functions and of external HMI for automated delivery vehicles

People’s understanding of external HMI and their experiences of interacting with an automated delivery vehicle in a terminal context

Autonoma leveransfordon – vad är de för sorts fordon och har det någon betydelse?

The GLAD project was coordinated by Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) with Aptiv AB, Combitech AB, Clean Motion AB and Högskolan i Halmstad as project partners. The project was also partly financed by the Swedish Transport Administration. The project was associated with the research center SAFER. 


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 AB



Project members

External press

Supports the UN sustainability goals

11. Sustainable cities and communities

Contact person

Mikael Söderman

Senior Forskare

+46 10 228 40 43

Read more about Mikael

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