Car Reviews

Mercedes Vision Van: The Effin Sweet deal from Merc

Mercedes-Benz has come a very long way and how! The company has some pretty mean machines that have given some of the menacingly good looks in the automobile industry a tough sweat. The brand was built for sustainability, confidence and prestige. And now, the company is expanding its horizons into logistics.

It’s not a new story that Mercedes-Benz had its foot falling into the logistics sector. However, the company has come up with something pretty radical and this is certain to change the future of logistics.

Most of you might not have the foggiest of ideas about Matternet. Well, it’s a tech startup company dealing with drones. But what do they have to do with Mercedes you ask?

Oh, nothing, they simply have a joint collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Vans to create what’s called a “Vision Van”. If that ain’t sweet, I don’t know what is.

Mercedes-Benz has a very strong van portfolio outside the US. It’s built a name for itself in logistics, and now, it’s showcasing the next generation of cargo vans with the Vision Van. It’s only a concept, but too hot to handle, how I wish it were coming to production like this. This revolutionary measure is sure to change the way small packages are delivered across short distances. Now, small things will come in this sweet package.

The vision behind the vision van is pretty simple. The company is looking to change the process of delivery by introducing the Vision Van and this comes with plenty of innovative technologies put together in one bundle of technology. The vehicle is designed for last-mile delivery operations thus setting the standard for future generations of vans. The all-electric automobile is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved in delivery, from distribution center to recipient. The vehicle is turn equipped with an automated cargo space, as well as integrated delivery drones.

The company also takes advantage of such design elements and then on the transporter could then deliver multiple packages simultaneously to a given area, even by air, isn’t that effin cool?

Behind the Vision:

The Vision Van features a 75 kW electric drive, has a range of 80 kilometers to roughly 270 kilometers and is emission free.In addition, Mercedes-Benz is also working on innovative leasing, rental and sharing models, tailored to the needs of van customers. The Vision Van is, of course, electric, with a battery good for about 168 miles, which is perfect for a day of last-mile deliveries. Its electric drive train means it won’t be locked out of cities that ban gas-or-diesel-powered vehicles. There are also two drones strapped to the roof, which can deliver packages into more congested areas. LED lights on the van will signal when the drones are taking off, or when the vehicle is stopped for a delivery. But the flashy bits on the outside hide the real meat and potatoes of the Vision Van. It’s essentially a logistics center on wheels, loaded with tech to better facilitate deliveries. The van features a package dispenser, special robot-operated racking systems, and a computer terminal provides relevant information for the driver.

What’s the driver’s role you ask?

Hmmm…..Speaking of the driver, S/he will have a particular goal that appears to be handing packages to other people. There are no controls in the cabin, just LED lights and a dashboard covered with logistical information (drone flight data, route planning, etc.). The van will drive itself around in accordance with the pre-planned delivery route. Talk about an easy job. There is still a joystick, though, in case the driver needs to take control.

That’s the future of logistics — a complete minimization of the human element. No more rifling around the back of a truck to find a box, no more human error at all, really. It’s almost like Mercedes-Benz is trying to get rid of the human entirely. Thankfully, we, the bundles of meat and bones, since computers can’t sign the dotted line and actually purchase the vans have something to do if I do say so myself.

Sieber, the director of design brands and operations claims that the process behind sculpting this tech-novation (Yeah made up word by fusing technology and innovation. See, I can be smart too (Or may be not) Sigh!!) involves great deal of emotions and much more than meets the eye.

He says that the simplicity and purity is maintained even on the inside. There is a joystick command and simple instruments along with the delivery instructions to drivers that pop up on a display that shines through the blue material which covers the sculptured, horizontal arc that spans the entire front of the cabin.

Lights are used as signals to a great extent, from colour-coded parcel shelves signaling the next item to be extracted, to the floor in the cabin signaling whether it is safe to exit the single side door, to the massive front display that can transmit messages to the rest of the world about drones landing or intention to turn – a matrix in the grille measures 2000×500 in LEDs, and gives enormous scope for communicating with the surroundings.

Bottom Line:

Yeah, I wish I could say STFU and take my money but, No. Mullah is just not too easy to get, unless you’re willing to offer me something big J. Anyhow, this was the vision van by Mercedes-Benz, hope our visions materialize soon too. Happy reading folks J




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