Mercedes-Benz Showcases ‘Vision Van’
Electric Vehicle Uses Automated Loading, Drones to Speed Deliveries
This story appears in the November 14 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.
It may have been the flashiest vehicle on display at the 2016 IAA Commercial Vehicles Show.
The Mercedes-Benz “Vision Van” was sleek, modern and, with two drones on its roof, it immediately stood out among the 60 vehicles on display in Daimler Trucks’ exhibit hall area during the September event in Hanover, Germany.
While the electric-powered van was only a concept vehicle, executives positioned it as a key step forward for the company.
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No longer would they be just a manufacturer of vans, focused on fuel efficiency and safety benefits compared with competitors, said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans.
“We are focusing our attention beyond the vehicle on the entire value chain and business environment of our customers. We provide transport solutions for the digital age and evolve the van into an intelligent, interconnected data center on wheels,” Mornhinweg said.
Several days after the van was introduced at a press event just prior to the start of IAA, Mornhinweg and Stefan Maurer, head of future transportation systems, spent 45 minutes with a small group of trucking journalists, providing an up-close look at the van while sharing that larger “vision.”
Their message was somewhat similar to the direction of Amazon.com, which has taken significant strides to morph from an online retailer into a full-fledged transportation company, complete with its own aircraft, while experimenting with same-day and one-hour shipping options.
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|By Neil Abt|
© 2016, Transport Topics, American Trucking Associations Inc.
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