12 Sep 18

Mercedes launches autonomous electric people carrier that's also a delivery van

Mercedes-Benz Vans has unveiled its Urbanetic vision of an autonomous electric people carrier that can also be a delivery van. It looks ... interesting.

Mercedes-Benz describes its Vision Urbanetic as a revolutionary mobility concept that eliminates the separation between people moving and goods transport. It enables on-demand, sustainable and efficient movement of people and goods.

The concept is based on a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can take different switchable bodies for moving people or goods. Switching from the 12-seater van to the cargo version can be done in under two minutes, either manually or automatically.

Driving without a body

The platform incorporates all the driving functions, meaning the autonomous chassis can also make its way to its next destination without a body attached (third vehicle on the photograph).

Mercedes-Benz claims it can guarantee absolute safety by having redundant components for all critical actions such as steering, braking and acceleration.

The cargo module has a variable load floor that can be divided into two levels and transport up to ten EPAL palettes. The load space has a volume of 10m3.

Last-mile package station

The vehicle can also be fitted with fully automated cargo-space systems for use as a mobile package station for last-mile deliveries.

A timeline for a roll-out will be announced during the IAA commercial vehicles trade show in Hanover, starting 20 September.

Image: Mercedes-Benz Urbanetic as a delivery van (left), people carrier (centre), empty platform (right).

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck