Technology

Mercedes Electric Robot-VAN Delivering Packages in Germany

This is the future of parcel delivery: robot loaded the shelves, computers calculate the best route, the driver controls everything using the joystick. And are no longer detours: receiver off the route to get their package by drone.

So far, the parcel delivery is mainly manual labour. Daimler makes vision van on it in his study of transporter a high-tech affair. Computer know all packages and addresses that need to be served, figure out the best route and arrange the items in the car even more so, that they are in the correct order.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

With the vision van, which represents Daimler at the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hannover, Germany from September 22 to 29, the manufacturer dares a revolutionary look at the transportation system of tomorrow. The most unusual idea: The shelves in the van are not fixed, but are on a module that can be variably and unloaded.

Transporter packages are loaded automatically by robots

But the arrangement of the packages is left to chance. “New algorithms control picking and loading of packages,” as Mercedes. The consignments are picked automatically at the Logistics Center and loaded into special rack systems. Similarly there are like in a cafeteria various large trays, the size of the packages are customized. The robot slide so the pieces in different-sized drawers, so that no space is lost. The lightweight system consists of carbon shelves as well as charge carriers in aluminium sheet.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

And how do the shelving system in the car? Driverless trucks push the shelves automatically and in a piece in the available related transporter. This reduces the charging time of the transporter only stands around quite enormously. Today, a load average takes around 80 minutes, so Mercedes. Insert the module loaded with shipments and packages is done in just five minutes.

Computer calculate optimal sequence of packets

The software also allows an optimal use of cargo space, calculates the optimum route depending on the receiver and arranges the packets that the intelligent load management hands out the driver the right package to each delivery address. This removes a boom in the vehicle carriers for the shipments and passes it to the shipping carrier. Maximum, the system needs 30 seconds for the delivery to the shipping carrier.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

“We know from our customers that the removal of packages on the breakpoint may take today sometimes several minutes because shipments need to be searched or sorted in”, says Thomas Moser, project manager vision van at Mercedes-Benz Vans. The cargo area is fully automated and is controlled via a touch-screen display on the Tailboard. Here, each downloaded package is recorded.

VAN Control using the only a joystick

But even when the actual automotive Mercedes introduces interesting ideas. Mercedes decided against autonomous driving technique, which would be probably overwhelmed with the demands of a carrier in a pedestrian zone. Instead, the electric van such as a PlayStation or an aircraft joystick driver is controlled: no wheel, no pedals, no gear shift. So the driver can move freely at his place of work. Also, the driver’s seat can be positioned far forward to generate more cargo area.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

The electric motor, which was to allow also the delivery when city centres in the future for vehicles with internal combustion engines are locked is almost conventional. The engine in the vision van has 75 kW. Thus he comes to 120 km/h. Because he mainly on the way to be in the city, is its speed to 80 km/h. With his batteries, he creates up to 270 km range.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

The electric drive is not only the use in downtown areas, the frequent and shut-off and the way of the city closures for Nitro. At the same time, the quiet electric motor allows also the late delivery in residential areas. This is an important option for the promise of some Internet shipper, to deliver the goods on the same day.

“Intelligent, clean and always online”

“Intelligent, clean and always online”, Volker Mornhinweg, who is responsible at Daimler for the vans, summarizes the characteristics of the transporter by the day after tomorrow. The crafty van is constantly with the headquarters in connection over the Internet. So customers can determine exactly when the parcel for them to arrive. Total make the vision van the parcel delivery by up to 50 percent more effective.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

The kicker is that Daimler flirtatious ground air Alliance called drone system. Two electric-powered drones of the American manufacturer Matternet are placed on the roof of the vans, which can deliver loads up to 2 kg in a radius of 10 km. The intelligent on-board computer know when which package must be delivered.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

It loads the drone independently with the right package and a battery charged each fresh in the car. “This simplifies the business for the feed dog and rapidly reduces the delivery time for end users”, so Volker Mornhinweg. The drones to remote delivery areas and thus save detours long vehicle.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Mercedes-Benz Vision Van – Interior, One-Shot Loading. Photo: Daimler

Dashboard as a communication centre

On the dashboard of the driver receives the information about the current drone flight. He has also the route planning via the dashboard at a glance. Even the vehicle floor in the vision van is intended. Thanks to a special effect seem LED displays in the stainless steel back, which the rider to signal whether approaching pedestrians or cyclists.

Photo: Daimler
Photo: Daimler

With light displays at rear and front van warns other road users such as car drivers and cyclists the vision when the vehicle stops or gets out of the carrier. Even if a drone takes off, the lights warn.

Mercedes-Benz Vision Van
Photo: Daimler

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