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The metropolitan area of Barcelona and Esplugues de Llobregat hosted a test in a real urban environment of the autonomous goods distribution robot Ona last Friday, 10 June. Developed by CARNET and the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, BarcelonaTech (UPC), in the framework of the European project LogiSmile, the test was carried out in the Can Vidalet neighbourhood. Later, the Ona robot will travel to Hamburg (Germany) and Debrecen (Hungary), writes the European Insitute of Innovation and Technology in a press release.

The event was attended by the Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda, Raquel Sanchez; the Mayoress of Esplugues de Llobregat, Pilar Diaz; the rector of the UPC, Daniel Crespo; the executive and scientific head of CARNET, Laia Pages; and the director of EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Hub South Daniel Serra, as well as different partners of the project.

Safe and digitalized mobility

For the Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sanchez, “this is not science fiction today; it is what we will experience in our cities in the coming years.” 

The minister highlighted the importance for Esplugues of hosting this pilot project, the result of collaboration between public administrations, universities and companies, and a fundamental axis for achieving safe, digitalised mobility that respects the planet and people’s health. The autonomous vehicle is included in the objective of digitalisation and decarbonisation pursued by the Ministry. This process entails challenges already contemplated in the Sustainable Mobility Law, which will soon reach the Spanish congress.

Technology for problem solving

“The future is here”, said the mayoress of Esplugues de Llobregat, Pilar Diaz, who highlighted that Ona “is an example of putting technology at the service of problem-solving, in this case for the distribution of last-mile goods”, while highlighting the “ecological and sustainable” aspect of the initiative.

This pilot demonstrates that future mobility in our cities is already a reality. The commitment of the Spanish government, the town of Esplugues de Llobregat and the Metropolitan area of Barcelona also proves that when the right actors work together, we can design the future of our cities.

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