What problem do you solve?

In urban areas, on the last mile of the logistics chain, where today mainly diesel-powered transporters are used, which stop and restart every few metres, the emissions are rising dramatically. Many cities are already facing driving bans. The transport sector causes a quarter of global C02 emissions, making it the second largest emissions sector. However, the emissions are not evenly distributed and are concentrated in urban areas due to the high volume of traffic and lack of green spaces. In addition to this global perspective, a local perspective must therefore be adopted. Courier, express and parcel logistics alone emits 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year over the last mile in DE, which could be saved by Ducktrain. With every package kilometer driven by Ducktrain, 8.8g of CO2 can be saved.

What is your digital solution?

Ducktrain is a solution module for future-oriented urban logistics, because through targeted automation, electrification our idea becomes economical. The electric drive train contributes to emission reduction of the transport sector, while automation ensures the economic efficiency of the processes. From the beginning the focus of the development was to create a product that is easy to manufacture, emission-free, robust and and perfectly adapted to the needs of the customer. In addition, Ducktrain offers high process efficiency because every Duck is extremely manoeuvrable and can drive right to the customer’s front door: No parking in second row, no barriers by bollards in the city, flexible coupling to whole trains with the required Cargo capacity. In this way the costs per shipment can be reduced on the last mile. Ducktrain also reduces the volume of traffic because large vans wouldn’t be longer needed.

How much does your idea differ from existing solutions? What do you do better?

The special thing about Ducktrain is that we have a deep understanding of the process, which enables us to develop which interacts with the logistician and supports him ideally. This, and the use of known technologies such as electrification, automation and lightweight vehicle construction make Ducktrain and the Ducktrain Team unique.
Ducktrain offers the following customer features:
– Process efficiency: no parking in second row, the “Ducks” are extremely manoeuvrable and suitable for roads, cycle paths and footpaths, significant reduction in the distance from the vehicle to the door for the postman, no driving licence required, flexible lining up of whole trains with the required loading volume and the required payload.
– Reduction of process costs: By using Ducktrain, the logistics costs per parcel are reduced.
– Relief for the transport infrastructure, no traffic jams.
– No inner-city access restrictions through pedestrian zones, bollards, small alleys, etc.
– Reduction of minor damages: Ducktrain driver assistance avoids collisions with parked cars or bollards.
– 100% electric: locally emission-free logistics.

What does qualify your team and how is the structure of your team? 

The founding team (Kai Kreisköther, Markus Werle, Fabian Kober) has established itself at the PEM Chair of the RWTH AachenDr.-Ing.

Kai D. Kreisköther is CEO of DroidDrive GmbH. He studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen, received his doctorate there and headed the PEM chair of Prof. Kampker for over 2 years as managing director Chief Engineer. For the last 8 years he was project manager for customers like Porsche, StreetScooter, Ford, DHL and e.Go. During his studies he already successfully founded his first start-up, which he ran for 2 years.

Markus Werle, CTO of DroidDrive, studied aerospace engineering at the RWTH Aachen University, and devoted himself to but later on software development for the automotive industry at FEV and then at PEM. Markus has over 25 Years of experience in industrial software development.

Fabian Kober studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH and in Lyon. Meanwhile he worked on various chairs of the RWTH (Efi, LTM, WZL, PEM). Fabian has automation a deep understanding of logistics processes through his activities at WZL, PEM and MTU Friedrichshafen. Today he is COO of DroidDrive GmbH.

Why should we reward you for your digital business model?

The Ducktrain technology is unique compared to the state of the art and so far not in this form implemented, because the innovative power of the approach does not consist in the development of highly complex autonomous vehicles, but in the clever combination of existing and understood technologies. We are whole not a “yet-another-autonomous-driving start-up”, but rather pursue realistic goals, which quickly lead. We can achieve a sustainable impact on our society.