Back in Borås

03 May 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
The Surflogh partners were back in Borås on 26th – 27th April, for their first physical meeting in over two years. During this happy reunion, the consortium were also introduced to the latest Good Goods addition to the green logistics trials – HUGO. “H(ere) U Go…the autonomous delivery vehicle!”

This latest SURFLOGH meeting at the Textile Fashion Center coincided with the city’s automatization week, whereby different approaches to the reduction of negative climate impacts were highlighted. Borås, renowned for its textile industry, continuously  researches and trials new, data-driven ways to improve their carbon footprint – not just by greening  logistics but also by developing a more sustainable textile production process and focussing on recycling.

Here's HUGO

In this context, the HUGO autonomous delivery vehicle was presented by its co-creator and 'designer Dad', Carl Berge. The ‘robot as a service’ is currently being tested in Borås but can also be spotted in Stockholm,  Gothenburg, Stenungsund and Stevenage (UK). Companies are very interested, particularly as transporting one package can be up to 500 times cleaner with HUGO, compared to a conventional delivery van. “When predicting the future of city logistics, we must look at what people are doing, not what they’re saying,” Carl explained. “Online consumerism is higher than ever so we need a range of viable, sustainable  delivery solutions. HUGO is a street-friendly option.”

The HUGO autonomous delivery vehicle is:
- flexible
- safe
- sturdy (carries up to 100 kg)
- non-intrusive (runs at walking pace)
- vandal proof
- modular
- very reliable

Innovation lab

Following this presentation, all participants joined an innovation lab to discuss the pros and cons, risks and challenges of using this last mile green alternative. While thought to be impractical in some street situations, there is clearly a huge potential in particular urban landscapes (e.g pedestrianized inner city areas, large industrial estates etc.). Both hardware and software can be finetuned as a result of consumer/stakeholder feedback. 

undefinedSURFLOGH partners meet HUGO and  logistics stakeholders in Boras

Stakeholder interest

The SURFLOGH consortium excitedly witnessed the robot’s performance during an afternoon delivery shift in the busy city centre. While quietly going about the job, HUGO did raise a few smiles amongst the shoppers and led to some pleasant public interaction. Last delivery of the day was to the head office of Gina Tricot, a leading Swedish fashion chain in over 30 countries and an important logistics stakeholder. Emma Garrote Fredman, Global Production and Sustainability Manager at Gina Tricot informed the group about the company’s interest in participating in this latest SURFLOGH trial. 

The main points included:

-          Competitiveness and flexible delivery for customers

-          High number of return rates

-          Shops can work as distribution centres

-          Lower impact on the value chain

Current EU legislation

During the meeting, the partners  were also treated to an insightful presentation on the current EU legislation regarding autonomous vehicles by Jenny Lundahl of RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and national expert on this topic. 

Since there are both international and national laws on automated vehicles, there are differences between regulations across countries in the EU. UNECE is working on laws for automated vehicles, but in the meantime some countries (e.g. Germany, France) have already implemented laws regarding automated driving. Others are planning to, but still have no legislation in place (e.g. Sweden, UK).


Are you curious about HUGO? Watch this innovative delivery option in action here.


With many thanks to Peder Wahlberg from the City of Borås for the cool visuals.