Deliveries of the Future

12.05.16 - Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Delivery companies have competed against each other for years to see how they could make their delivery systems more efficient. For some small, lightweight packages the idea of being able to launch drones out into the neighborhoods could allow for multiple deliveries to be executed at the same time. This is the idea behind the new Mercedes-Benz Vision Van that is also a creation of their drone partner, Matternet. With this new van the delivery world could change significantly and remain changed for the next several years until something else that’s better comes along.

The idea is to have several drones positioned on the roof of the van. This van would act as the launch and landing pad for the drones and the packages would be specially sorted to be able to be delivered by the drones. Currently the drones for the van, which are the Matternet M2 drones would be capable of carrying a package that weighs 4.4 pounds or less and reach a distance of over 12 miles to ensure the packages are delivered to the appropriate customers easily. This would give the delivery company using the van the ability to reach more customers in remote locations than they currently can.

Not only would the drones be electrically powered, but the van itself could reach a range of 168 miles on a single charge, giving the van an all-day deliver ability, which would reduce emissions put out by the delivery company since the van runs on electricity. This gives the delivery process an impressive way to save fuel and be safer for the environment. The best part about this deliver van is the ability it has from the start of the day until it returns back to the distribution center.

The ideal situation would have the van being preloaded by machine with racks of packages that are the right size for the drones, and a few the driver would have to deliver. Those marked for the drones would be sorted through the roof and picked by the drone then flown to the destination. The driver could then pick and deliver the packages they need to deliver themselves. With two drones on the roof, this means three packages at a time can be delivered versus the one that was being delivered previously. If they were able to do this with four drones that would be five packages at a time.

Even though the legality of drones flying packages all over the city hasn’t been finalized or approved, once it is, Mercedes- Benz certainly seems poised to be the first company to the party to ensure they have their drone delivery systems operating before anyone else. Check out this video and see just what the vision of the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van is when it comes to the ability to deliver packages more efficiently to the public. Hopefully this will be something we see in operation soon and delivery companies will become much more efficient.

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