Mercedes’ Vision of the future – An electric delivery van complete with drones

Mercedes-Benz enjoys great success with commercial vehicles and now it looks to the future with a new initiative named “adVANce”.

Looking to adapt to changes in customer needs with the explosion of e-commerce and customers demanding same day delivery or delivery within the hour.

Solutions created by this new division aim to make the transportation of goods and passengers even more efficient and open up new business opportunities and economic benefits.

It is clear that the rising transportation requirements will need to be met even faster and more efficiently in future and, above all, in an environmentally friendly way.

“Vision Van” – a study for innovative delivery on the last mile

The “Vision Van” van study, which was presented today and evolved as part of the adVANce initiative.

This all-electric vehicle combines various innovative solutions for last-mile of delivery in urban and suburban environments.

In addition, it is the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated deployable delivery drones.

For example, if a parcel service provider stops his vehicle in a residential area, it will be possible to deliver multiple packages to nearby customers autonomously by air – even if they are not at home.

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The benefits are obvious, with reduced delivery time, ease of delivery and the ability to offer customers new services such as same-day delivery at an agreed time.

The vehicle is equipped with a 75 kW electric drive and – depending on the intended application – has a range of 50 miles to approximately 165miles, all of which are emission-free.

Volker Mornhinweg or Mercedes-Benz commented:

“Equipped with an electric drive system, the Vision Van not only operates locally emission-free, it also moves almost silently. This means that it can be operated in cities even during times when there are traffic restrictions or for late-night deliveries in residential areas. This gives our customers the possibility of offering new services to their customers.”

Integration of smart technologies also aim to increase efficiency with telematics enabling the monitoring and management of last-minute changes to the route from a central point.

Automated cargo space

Mercedes-Benz Vans are also working on automated cargo space systems for delivery vehicles for parcel services, for example.

Until now, a couriers need to rearrange their packages (on average around 180 per load) ten times while making deliveries within a residential area and schedule approximately three to four minutes per stop.

A new autonomous cargo space system will make loading and unloading much faster with the system offering the right package at the right time..

Would you be happy having a parcel delivered via a drone?  Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.