The Villaverde Sandbox (Madrid) launches several mobility innovation projects

Can you imagine a delivery robot to bring you food or a drone to transport urgent medicines to hospitals? Or, perhaps… have you imagined the city of the future with a robot that will take you shopping or an autonomous car accessible to all pockets? The latest and greatest innovations in mobility, sustainability and urbantech were tested, before Christmas, at the Villaverde mobility sandbox.

Hand in hand with the non-profit organization, Madrid Futuro and the support of the City Council, those responsible for these projects want to position the city in the top 10 Smart Cities in the world.

«This project is a clear example of public-private collaboration for the benefit of all civil society. As a result, thanks to this sandbox of mobility, sustainability and urbantech, Madrid will be among the top 10 Smart Cities in the world; it will generate about 5,000 jobs and attract an investment of 300 million euros”, Explained Pablo Vázquez, director of Madrid Futuro.

The project began with a first phase, before the official implementation that will take place this January. During this initial phase, the City Council granted specific licenses to test each of the products in a safe environment and for a limited period of time.

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As pointed out Angel Child, councilor for innovation and entrepreneurship of the Madrid City Council, “authorizing proofs of concept in a limited area in a few weeks will make us a very attractive point for companies from all over the world to establish themselves in Madrid ”. These companies, he continued, “will create jobs and promote the economic development of the district and the entire city.”

First pilot projects of the Sandbox

Autonomous car of the University of La Nebrija and FEM Expert

The Madrid company FEM Expert and the Nebrija University presented their autonomous car prototype, NEVA. Francisco Badea, CEO of FEM Expert and professor at Nebrija University, has stated with enthusiasm that “Today we have in our hands a research project that encourages the development of leading Spanish technology, and that demonstrates the close collaboration between Business and University, one of the most successful formulas for technological development.”

Looking to the future, “We are working to transform NEVA into one of the benchmark projects in Europe and the world, seeking to extend our collaborations and human talent”. José Luis Olazagoitia, principal investigator at Nebrija University, has pointed out that NEVA, “it has an exciting challenge: to democratize development and promote the use of the autonomous vehicle at reasonable costs ”.

Autonomous Delivery Service of Glovo, Goggo and Delivers.AI

Autonomous robotic delivery company, Delivers.AI, has already automated thousands of orders in Europe with its unique technology. «We appreciate the support of Madrid Futuro; thus, together with Glovo and Goggo Network we will explore the opportunities to bring the products with autonomous means. The demand for automated last mile deliveries continues to grow across Europe. Not only online ordering platforms, but also smart cities have taken an interest in autonomous delivery service as it has enormous potential to improve people’s lives in smart cities while helping ordering platforms. in line to optimize its last-mile logistics and thus reduce delivery costs “, explained Ali Kutay Yarali, founder and CEO of Delivers.AI.

This will be the first autonomous technology pilot in Spain, designed for city centers. It is a small, fully electric, autonomous robot that will move on the sidewalks of the streets within a given zone at the speed of a pedestrian. Once an order is received, the robot will go autonomously to a designated supermarket where it can deposit the order. From there, the robot will make its way to the customer’s building, which will be able to check its position at any time. Once it arrives, the customer will be notified to collect their order.

Goggo Network autonomous food truck

Goggo Network, an autonomous mobility services enabling company founded by Martin Varsavsky and co-founded by Yasmine Fage, has adapted autonomous mobility technology to the hospitality sector, helping local restaurants offer their products through new channels of sale.

In the Goggo Cart service, which will be the first to operate on public roads in Europe, the food truck it travels without the need for a driver to different points of sale. Consumers just have to go to the Goggo Cart, choose what they want to eat, pay through a service contactless and pick up your food. Likewise, in the Goggo Cart mobile application you can check the position of the vehicle and the products available in real time. Once stocks are exhausted, the food truck He heads to nearby local restaurants to stock up and to his parking lot to recharge his battery after the day is over.

Globalvia and eHang logistics drone

Openvia Air, one of the business lines of the Globalvia technology platform, with its participation in the Sandbox of the Madrid City Council and Madrid Futuro, seeks to incubate urban air mobility (UAM) in the region and sow the seed of an ecosystem of eVTOL mobility (vertical take-off and landing electric vehicles), accelerating the study and prospecting of logistics and passenger transport services, both urban and medium-haul, public and private, by means of autonomous air vehicles.

From connecting with disconnected or hard-to-reach areas, to the urgent transport of organs or healthcare equipment, the use cases for this technology are multiple, and will undoubtedly represent a great improvement in current logistics and mobility processes.

Mutua Madrileña, the insurer of the first autonomous vehicles

For the implementation of the mobility Sandbox, Madrid Futuro has coordinated communication with the different companies to ensure the first autonomous vehicles with Mutua Madrileña.

According to Jaime Aguirre de Carcer, general deputy director of the Insurance and Mobility Business, “At Mutua Madrileña we maintain a very clear and determined commitment to innovation, as a lever to maintain our competitive advantage. Being the insurer of the new projects launched by Madrid Futuro around the autonomous vehicle allows us to grow in the field of innovation, taking advantage of the new approaches that these developments can bring in products and services ”.

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