Mercedes-Benz Reveal their Vision for the Future of Delivery Vans
Commercial vehicles to most people are not the most awe inspiring of things, but Mercedes-Benz have taken the mundane and with a futuristic twist made it exciting …
The Mercedes-Benz vision van concept goes further than just the vehicle and starts with the picking and packing process. Packages for delivery are picked automatically and loaded onto racks which are then put into the van cargo space in one shot in a completely autonomous process. The best driving route is then programmed into the van.
Out on the road the Vision Van looks very futuristic with a wide wraparound windscreen and black panel radiator grille with integrated LED matrix that communicates the vans movements. On the roof of the van are the facilities for two drones to launch and land. These drones are in collaboration with drone tech start-up company Matternet. Matternet’s new M2 drones are capable of carrying a package up to 4.4 pounds in weight up to 12 miles on a single battery charge. These drones are capable of reloading packages and swapping batteries themselves, meaning both the drones and delivery driver can be delivering packages simultaneously, vastly increasing efficiency.
Inside the cargo space is all fully automatic, in the same sort of way as a vending machine. Once the required parcel is identified, it is delivered to either one of the two hatches on the roof for the drones to collect and deliver, or to the package dispenser in the cabin of the van for the delivery person to collect. This means the delivery drivers can forget ever having to spend valuable time in frustration searching through endless packages in the back of the van looking for the right one.
For the driver, there is only a joystick to take control of the Vision Van should the need arise as the van drives autonomously in accordance with the pre-planned delivery route. The dashboard consists of a sweeping arc which displays all the information the driver needs about the vehicle and deliveries to be made.
The Vision Van is electric with a range of 168 miles. It’s range, ability to send drones for deliveries and lack of emissions makes the Vision Van the perfect delivery van for towns and cities. No doubt delivery drivers will be keeping their fingers crossed this is one concept that makes it onto the road!