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Mercedes-Benz reveals a drone-filled 'van of the future'

| Innovation and technology

The German car manufacturer has unveiled a new electric-powered van, called the Vision Van, that will contain several delivery drones.

The company has teamed up with drone manufacturer Matternet to build an automated package system that tells the van when to stop, for a drone then to scan the back of the van and select the correct package and then fly out of the roof to deliver the package.

In other words, the whole system is automated and run on a series of algorithms with the only human element being the driver.

This system should help cut time and increase the number of deliveries making same-day and one-hour services more achievable as the driver does not have to get out of the vehicle every time and physically deliver items. It would be especially useful in built-up areas where parking and unloading packages is more tricky.

Vison Van currently has a 270km radius while a launch date has yet to be revealed.

Mercedes-Benz is investing €500mn in digitisation and automisation over the next five years and the Vision Van looks set to be the first result of that investment. Competition in drone delivery is intensifying with Amazon and Google also firmly in the mix.


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