Mercedes-Benz has developed its Vision Van concept vehicle that looks to the future of delivery by incorporating mobility concepts, robotics, and automation highlighted by a pair of roof-mounted drones.
With the Vision Van, Mercedes-Benz said it is rethinking the delivery system of the future. The process begins at the distribution center when packages are scanned and assigned to individual cargo racks that can adjust to 46 different levels by a cloud-based system.
The driver area features a dashboard with a wide curved ring that displays relevant information to the driver. A joystick control replaces a steering wheel and pedals.
Package delivery information is pre-loaded into a computer system that feeds to a terminal next to a package dispenser at the back of the front cabin.
While the operator delivers packages, the van deploys drones to pre-set addresses. An automatic rack feeder passes the package to the roof-mounted drone.
The van is a battery-electric vehicle producing about 100 hp and has a range of just under 170 miles.
Mercedes-Benz Vans first showed the van in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sept. 7.