It is expected of cities to provide an attractive, but also competitive place to work and live, while managing the needs of all transportation users and meeting the increasing demands of climate, environmental and health protection all at the same time. Not meeting these demands often simultaneously relates to a reduction in the inhabitants’ quality of life. An important component for a high standard of living in cities is mobility, which is one aspect of our institution’s research project, iCity, aimed at developing the intelligent city of the future (read more here about this project).
Recently, autonomous robots have been utilized increasingly for the delivery of food and packages. Even though these electrically powered vehicles have been used in the U.S. since 2018, pilot projects are just now becoming more popular in Germany. Due to their advantages for customers and society as a whole, delivery robots could become an important aspect of the scenery in future cities. More specifically, deliveries carried out by autonomous robots are environmentally friendlier and an efficient answer to the growing number of online deliveries. Furthermore, customers expect high flexibility as well as fast, but less-costly deliveries – demands which can be met by autonomous robots. However, user acceptance is essential for the successful implementation of this innovation. So far, user acceptance research surrounding autonomous delivery robots is limited and there is little empirical literature considering different application scenarios of the technology. Thus, two students of our business psychology program investigated factors influencing the customers’ acceptance of autonomous robots for last mile transportation of goods with a focus on current as well as potential future application scenarios.
Citizen participation is a major driver of democratic and socio-economic development, as well as a key method of citizen empowerment (NDI, 2021). Involving citizens in urban planning processes can help create a sense of community, generate valuable ideas, and increase acceptance of planning proposals (OECD, 2019). Facilitating citizen participation may help achieve these positive outcomes.
Kesselkompass3 – Inform, Involve, Cooperate – is an innovative 3D platform that enables citizen participation processes to take place online. The platform, developed by M4_LAB, offers a variety of tools and information to connect urban planners and citizens. On the platform itself, there is a 3D map of Stuttgart which offers several interactions especially for citizens but also planners. In addition, participation projects that have already been completed or are still in planning are presented. The platform has already been used by more than 600 citizens in previous projects and will now be further developed.