According to one study, 7.1 percent of people worldwide shop online every day. But the purchases made in virtual space are delivered, thereby entering real space, and cause problems there in terms of infrastructure and energy consumption. Delivering the ever increasing number of parcels is causing problems, above all in city centres which are already heavily burdened with traffic. The logistics sector talks of the so-called final mile.
A concept car from Daimler offers a new, comprehensive solution, primarily to the problems of urban delivery traffic. The “Vision Van” study is a fully electric vehicle that – depending on the purpose to which it is put – achieves a range of 80 to 270 kilometres. According to the manufacturer, it is the first van worldwide that digitally connects all those involved and every process from the goods distribution depot to the recipient of the parcel. The van thereby becomes part of the Internet of Things.
A data centre on wheels
The vehicle has an automatic loading system, i.e. it “hands” the driver the right parcels at each stop. And on that last mile, it is supported by a delivery robot or drone which assumes responsibility for selecting the route to the recipient’s doorstep.
“In the future, we will direct our attention far beyond the vehicle to the entire value chain and the customer’s whole business environment”, explains Volker Mornhinweg, Mercedes-Benz Vans Manager. “We are supplying transport solutions for the digital age and turning the van into an intelligent, networked data centre on wheels.”