German startup DroidDrive has unveiled the Trailerduck, a last mile e-cargo system that combines a bike with an electric cargo trailer, that can handle a two cubic metre payload of up to 300 kg, emission-free.

Connected by a draw-bar, the Trailerduck features “follow-me” technology that recognises what the towing bike is doing and then mimicks it, with the cargo trailer following the lead rider effortlessly.

At 1m wide, the trailer can travel both on the street and on bike paths and swappable batteries means there is no downtime for charging. DroidDrive says it will start shipping its first units for purchase or monthly hire towards the end of next year.

The company is also developing what it calls the Ducktrain system. This consists of a platoon of up to five Duck electric cargo vehicles which use LiDAR technology to wirelessly track and follow the human-driven leading bike or ebike. This means that although the ducks form a train, none of them are physically linked to one another.

DroidDrive envisages that within about three years, the Ducks will be able to travel at least part of their delivery routes autonomously, without the need for a guiding vehicle in front.