We can consider engineer Frank M. Rinderknecht as the Swiss visionary in the field of mobility. Almost every year he presents a new vision of the mobility of the future. He mainly focuses on urban areas and the combination of passenger and freight transport. In September, at the IAA Munich, he will present his latest concept, Citysnap.
In recent years, the Citysnap was preceded by the concepts Snap, MicroSnap and MetroSnap. So this is already the fourth generation of Rinspeed’s modular vehicle. He says he has made much more progress with the CitySnap. There are serious plans for pilot tests and series production. With the CitySnap concept, Rinspeed, as Rinderknecht’s company is called, presents a possible solution for innovative, sustainable and efficient distribution. Moreover, it is a concept that, according to Rinderknecht, can be implemented in the short term.
Global online retail has exploded over the past 15 months with increases of up to 30%. The volume of deliveries of goods and parcels via e-commerce has increased enormously. Currently, around 3,250 parcels per second are delivered worldwide and the end of this growth is far from in sight.
With CitySnap, Rinspeed introduces mobile parcel stations to help avoid congestion in the city and reduce emissions and costs. A concept in which vans independently distribute, park and collect mobile parcel stations. A contemporary concept that makes contactless, hygienic and also very customer-friendly deliveries possible. A daring concept too, but Rinspeed has been entrusted with that.
Rinderknecht: “People want more and more convenience and simplicity in their lives, but also more and more sustainability. According to recent studies, every second van is unnecessary. Our delivery solution offers both.”
Less emissions and costs
By using the CitySnap concept, the number of vehicles required is reduced by up to 50%. In addition, this system saves six percent in CO2 emissions – per package. The effort and cost per parcel is reduced by approximately 17 percent compared to conventional parcel delivery.
No more traffic jams
Traffic in the cities is busier than ever. This busyness makes the distribution of parcels increasingly difficult. So a system is needed that eliminates the weaknesses of the current delivery system, but is also compatible with the future.
The heart of the CitySnap is an aviation-inspired shifting system. It has been tested worldwide under all weather conditions and claims to enable completely new applications. The desired service can be delivered to the customer quickly and easily. Regardless of where he or she is. This can be done by means of movable parcel stations that are parked near the customer for a certain period of time. As a result, limited opening hours of collection points, the journeys there and the endless stream of delivery vehicles – with the associated environmental and traffic nuisance – are a thing of the past.
Not fully autonomous yet
In principle, CitySnap is intended to eventually drive fully autonomous vehicles. But fully automated driving will take a while. That is why the CitySnap has been designed for a human driver for the time being, and there will still be a driver at the wheel for the time being. However, its package delivery activities are limited to driving alone.
The loading and unloading of the mobile parcel stations is done completely autonomously and only takes a few minutes. In the future, computers and sensors will take the place of the driver and there will be a fully autonomous vehicle.