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Self-driving electric vehicles: they’re already undergoing thorough testing for passenger transport. Can these self-driving vehicles also be used to carry goods in logistics operations, specifically in the context of urban logistics? This futuristic project begins by setting out the requirements.

status: Running | thema: digitalization | type: regional

“Autonome Logistieke Elektrische Eenheden voor Steden”

With the new project ALEES, an acronym standing for ‘Autonome Logistieke Elektrische Eenheden voor Steden’ (self-driving logistical electric units for urban environments), VIL, together with the logistics sector and the cities, aims to determine the requirements for the use of self-driving vehicles in logistics operations in urban environments, for instance for parcel delivery.

All stakeholders in the area of urban logistics are involved: The Department of Mobility and Public Works (MOW), cities and city centres, shippers and logistics service providers, technical and technological partners.


ALEES can improve the efficiency of the shipment and delivery of goods in urban environments: better loading, more flexible route planning, 24/7 availability and so on. They’re also good for sustainability (fewer vehicles, use of electricity, etc.) and safety (self-driving, continuous monitoring of conditions, avoidance of obstacles, etc.).

Questions raised

  • What are the possible applications – now and in the future?
  • How can these applications be integrated into their environment?
  • What are the technical conditions that the units have to fulfil?
  • What data must and can be exchanged and how can the exchange take place?
  • How can the various logistics carriers be aligned with one another?

VIL will identify the possible applications, including through best practices, and then determine success factors and design simulations. The end-result will be a blueprint for future urban logistics.

Practical details

Planned launch: December 2016

Total lead time: 18 months

Participating companies

ACP CO₂, bpost, Bringme, DHL PARCEL BELUX, Stad Mechelen, Rhenus SML, Trimble, en Havenbedrijf Antwerpen.

acp bpost bringme-black dhl havenbedrijf-antwerpen-port-of-antwerp rhenus-sml stad-mechelen trimble




fraunhofer-imlIn this project VIL also works together with the German institute Fraunhofer IML .

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