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Finally a Van for retired Hippies. Hey they even do not have to drive any longer sit back fire up the Greateful Dead have a Brownie and the Van will notify you at the final destination. and it got plenty of room on the outside for the art work.:smile::smile:







The German company will invest approximately 500 million euros over the next five years to enable the digitalization of vans, complete with automation solutions, as well as robotics and innovative mobility options.

The plan will be done through a new organizational unit, which will operate in Berlin, Stuttgart, and Silicon Valley, and already has approximately 200 employees at work for various projects. The automaker has also revealed a taste of what the future will bring, in the form of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van Concept.

The concept vehicle is an all-electric model, which can travel up to 270 kilometers (168 miles) on one charge. It comes with a fully automated cargo space, and even integrates drones for the delivery of small objects.

Evidently, a production version of this vehicle is not on the table in its current form, but this concept will inspire the future creations of the van division that belongs to Daimler’s premium brand.

Mercedes-Benz’s Vision Van Concept imagines a solution for last-mile delivery, a term that refers to the part of the supply chain that brings products to an end user.

It is designed to operate in urban and suburban environments. Its creators have imagined it to help a driver deliver multiple parcels In a defined area, on top of conventional solutions (i.e. bringing the package by hand to the recipient’s door).

The German brand expects this solution to boost productivity by up to 50%. The van has a 75 kW electric motor, and can have a range between 80 (50 miles) and 270 kilometers (168 miles), depending on the application.

Each delivery is emission-free, as the future should not have smoggy diesels anywhere. Since it is electric, the entire trip will be silent, thus making it an excellent choice for night-time operation.

The other smart solution imagined by Mercedes-Benz is a robotic sorting system, which allows more accurate parcel placement within a van for each delivery. A driver could set the system to prepare the next package at the door of the vehicle when he has arrived at a preset destination, for example. Two on-board drones can take care of smaller deliveries and on shorter distances.


Wow after watching the Video I have to say the future is scary. :frown::frown:


Read more: Mercedes-Benz Presents Vision Van, An Autonomous Electric Utility Vehicle - autoevolution
 

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Mercedes van will be a mothership for fleets of delivery robots

Here is some more that will be here soon.





gone are the days when a Van was a Kastenwagen and you had to unload by hand.:frown:



By Paul Marks

It’s robots to go. A van pulls up in a village street and a ramp extends to the pavement from a side door. A swarm of wheeled robots trundle down the ramp and head off down local streets on missions of their own. Their cargo delivered, they head back up the ramp and the van drives off.

This is the vision behind a new collaboration between delivery robot start-up Starship Technologies based in Tallinn, Estonia, and German car maker Mercedes-Benz.

Amazon is testing flying drones to deliver packages, but the e-commerce giant faces a raft of regulatory hurdles before its bots take off. In the meantime, ground-based delivery robots are ready to go.

The main problem with delivery bots is battery life. If robots are to be used to deliver packages across a whole country, rather than just in cities, they need a helping hand. Most existing robots can only manage trips of 2 to 3 kilometres.

Beetlebot, what what have you got?
This is where Mercedes comes in. It announced today that it is developing a variant of its workhorse van, the Sprinter. The vans will act as motherships for fleets of up to eight delivery bots, says Volker Mornhinweg at Mercedes.

Starship’s six-wheeled robots can carry 10 kilograms worth of parcels, groceries and takeaway food to homes at precise times of a customer’s choosing. On arrival, the customer unlocks the beetle-like robot’s shiny carapace via an app on their phone and takes out their goods. In the UK, Starship is piloting its robot services in Greenwich with takeaway food service Just Eat.

One concern is that the robots will be vandalised or have their contents stolen. To guard against that, Starship has given its robots video cameras that should catch anyone trying to damage them, says Starship spokesperson Henry Harris-Burland. But in all their tests so far, across 47 countries, none of their robots have seen any trouble, he says.

To see the kind of reaction the robots get from the public, I decided to accompany one on its rounds. Trundling along at walking pace, the robot stopped whenever its ultrasound and visual sensors detected someone passing in front of it. The robots are semi-autonomous – this one was being controlled remotely from Estonia via 4G wireless. But Starship has plans to make them fully autonomous. Eventually, the mothership vans could be driverless too and the delivery bots loaded by other robots in a warehouse – a robot driving robots filled by robots.

It’s not yet the quickest courier service around, however. In Greenwich, the robot was surrounded by curious passers-by and it took many minutes to travel just 100 metres.

“What does it do?” one person asks. “Controlled from Estonia?” says another. “That’s nuts!” Children greeted the whirring droid like a friend, giving it a cheery “Hello!”
 

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I don't see it selling except to the around town crowd. There isn't an infrastructure of recharge stations. And MB would make the charging system proprietary so you couldn't use a Tesla or Prius station.
 
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