Mercedes Benz has just launched a strategic future initiative called adVANce, which aims at taking the transport industry into the future.
This initiative is one of the many programs being run as part of the commercial division of the automobile manufacturer, all of which feature advanced electronics systems.
Although this is still the first foray they are taking into providing last mile delivery services, since all the programs before this focused on Long Distance Delivery Systems.
To showcase the direction which this initiative will be taking, Mercedes also launched a futuristic concept of a logistic van, called the Vision Van.
This van has been designed specifically to reduce the load of, and eventually replace, the thousands of traditional delivery vans we see plying around our streets.
A claim like this requires a lot of serious innovation to back it up, which comes in the form of a completely integrated system, which features all sorts of sensors and cameras to help this van navigate to it’s destination.
The feedback from these systems can be monitored by either a driver, or someone sitting at the delivery headquarters, who can then use a state of the art Joystick Mechanism to control the van in person, or even remotely.
This means that in addition to being a smart van, this vehicle will also have the capability of being an remote controlled/autonomous van, thus making multi-person delivery crews obsolete.
In addition to all the changes made to the driving part, the van also makes a lot of improvements in the delivery part as well, with the help of a Digitally Connected Process Chain.
This system features several smart algorithms, which control all aspects of the delivery mechanism, including but not limited to, order picking, loading packages, cargo space management and route planning.
Between these two systems, the van will be able to easily maneuver the city, in order to get your packages to your doorstep without any hassle.
Once they reach the preset destination, the job of actually handing out packages will be placed upon an Integrated Drone System, which will take your order to literally the end point.
Between all these systems, it is easy to see why this concept holds so much promise for the transport industry, who currently rely on the efficiency of a human supply chain that is prone to errors.
Since the implied impact of this initiative is so widespread, Mercedes also wanted to make sure they left the smallest footprint in terms of impact on the environment.
This is why they decided that in order to power the van, they would use a 75kW electric engine, which will give the van a comfortable range of 270km.
This not only removes the stress of carbon emissions, but also makes sure that the neighborhood you live in isn’t disturbed by any noise, whenever a delivery comes to your house.
In fact, getting a delivery from this van would seem like a very cool thing, as the design makes it look more like a high tech personal vehicle, rather than a commercial one.
This smart look is immediately evident from the moment you see the wide windscreen that curves around the sidewalls, like a visor.
Just below the visor is a beautiful black panel radiator grille which doubles up as a mode of communication, thanks to an Integrated LED Matrix and LED headlamps.
In contrast to this futuristic face, the rest of the van has been kept plain, so that it’s easier for operators to use this massive space for advertising.
As you can see, almost every aspect of this van has been designed to improve the way we provide delivery services to our customers. Mercedes certainly hopes that their efforts will be appreciated and adopted, thus establishing a new standard in commercial services.