D he car industry is thinking less and less in terms of new models, but more and more often in new mobility concepts. Mercedes Vans is now introducing one of these with the Vision Urbanetic. The basic idea: The basis is an autonomous and electrically driving chassis that can be combined with various bodies. Mercedes has designed three application scenarios for its new study: As a vehicle for passenger transport, for the courier, express and parcel industries - i.e. to the end customer - and for goods transport in the purely business sector.
In teardrop form or as Box
Depending on the purpose, the Vision Urbanetic comes in completely different forms. As a passenger taxi it is characterized by a teardrop shape, in the goods mode it presents itself deliberately boxy - so boxy that Mercedes even recognize the shape of an overseas container. In both variants, the lighting elements on the outside are important because they are what the Vision Urbanetic uses to communicate with the environment. For example, it can indicate if it discovers a person on the side of the road who wants to cross the street via the zebra crossing. This is intended to reduce inhibitions and skepticism towards autonomous driving.
The Vision Urbanetic should be able to transport twelve people over a length of 5.14 meters. This is possible because the shape of the body allows a special seating concept and a ride while standing. And of course, because the driver's job is no longer necessary. Steering wheel, pedals, dashboard: because the concept drives completely autonomously, none of this is necessary. In principle, the Vision Urbanetic works like a shared taxi: The user calls it up online and is picked up from wherever he is. Because the Mercedes is completely networked and in what the manufacturer calls an ecosystemis embedded, it adapts itself optimally to the mobility needs and moves particularly efficiently on the routes. Due to the autonomous design, it is continuously active and therefore also available at times when buses and trains rarely run.
Mercedes Vision Urbanetic as a mobile packing station
In cargo mode, this is Loading space length 3.70 meters. Enough space for parcels, of which more and more are being delivered worldwide. The highlight of the Vision Urbanetic: It serves as a mobile packing station. Its loading space works automatically, so it picks up the parcel and brings it to the agreed place at the agreed time. This should also work with optimized energy efficiency and with a high degree of flexibility. Because the entire delivery process is completely transparent, not only should multiple delivery attempts be prevented, but short-term changes to delivery times or locations should also be possible.
In a purely business scenario, the Vision Urbanetic can be used as a mobile parts and material warehouse. Because it is fully integrated into the ordering and delivery system of a craft business, for example, it detects shortages, automatically reorders and delivers the required part just in time, for example to a construction site. And because he drives independently, he can also deliver outside of peak hours. For example at night, so that the craftsman can start working with the new material in the morning. Mercedes can also imagine that it is optimizing the ordering and delivery process of small retail branches in a similar way, in which there is hardly any storage space available. Up to ten standardized EPAL lattice boxes can be accommodated on two levels, the loading volume is ten cubic meters.
Vehicle Control Center as a command center
The heart of the ecosystem in which the Vision Urbanetic operates , is the Vehicle Control Center. The demand is controlled in this center. If you recognize there that a group of people is gathering somewhere in a certain area, for example after a concert or a sporting event, an above-average number of vehicles can be sent there. In addition, it should also be able to learn so that it is even more available next time. All of this leads to the goal of significantly more people and goods on theto be able to transport existing road infrastructure. And thanks to the electric drive with less noise and pollutant emissions than before. In addition, around the clock and 365 days a year, apart from charging or maintenance stops. Mercedes envisions closed-off territories such as factory or airport premises as areas of application, but also open scenarios such as a typical inner city.