Mercedez Benz Vision URBANETIC Drives the City of the Future with Driverless Van to Transport Cargo and Bodies

On demand, efficient and sustainable: Vision URBANETIC answers the questions of future urban mobility by offering a van that can transport cargos and persons.

“Vision URBANETIC relieves cities and improves quality of life in urban areas,” said Volker Mornhinweg in a press statement. Interchangeability of type of passengers is the keyword.

Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC People-Mover-Modul

Mercedes-Benz Vans presents its Vision URBANETIC, a revolutionary mobility concept that goes way beyond existing ideas on autonomous vehicles. Vision URBANETIC eliminates the separation between people moving and goods transport. It enables on-demand, sustainable and efficient movement of people and goods – and applies an innovative approach to fulfill the needs of cities, businesses from diverse sectors as well as city dwellers and travelers. The concept reduces traffic flows, relieves inner-city infrastructures and contributes to an improved quality of urban life.

World Premiere Vision URBANETIC, Copenhagen 2018

The global population is growing rapidly. If forecasts by the United Nations prove accurate, there will be ten billion people living on Earth by 2050. It predicts that more than 5.2 billion people will be living in cities by 2030.

At the same time, the OECD estimates that global freight traffic will have trebled by 2050. The traffic infrastructure in many places simply can’t grow to the same extent. And many city centers are already dramatically overloaded.

To play an active role in shaping the mobility of tomorrow, we have to think in an even more networked way and look beyond our existing activities. We need new ideas for future mobility and the courage to implement them. We’re driven by the conviction of continuous improvement.

As part of a holistic system solution, Vision URBANETIC addresses future urban challenges and offers innovative solutions. The visionary concept is based on a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can take different switchable bodies for people moving or goods transport. As a ride-sharing vehicle, Vision URBANETIC can accommodate up to twelve passengers, while the cargo module can carry up to ten EPAL pallets. A loading space 3.70 meters long fits into a total vehicle length of 5.14 meters. Plus, the concept incorporates an IT infrastructure that analyses in real time the supply and
demand within a defined area. The result is a self-driving fleet, with routes planned flexibly and efficiently by current transportation needs. All of this makes Vision URBANETIC a groundbreaking concept for future urban mobility.

Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC cargo module

Thanks to full networking, the evaluation of local information – such as concerts and events – and intelligent control, the system not only analyze current needs, it can also learn from them. It is thus able to anticipate and react to future needs. This can optimize processes and help shorten waiting and delivery times and avoid traffic jams. For instance, the overall system can use the data captured by the vehicle control center – which collates and analyses needs – to identify a crowd of people gathering in a certain area. It can send vehicles there to quickly and efficiently satisfy the increased demand. The system can thus react flexibly and is not based on rigid routes or fixed timetables.

Fully networked and part of a comprehensive ecosystem

Mercedes-Benz Vans is pursuing an ambitious target with its Vision URBANETIC. It envisages transporting more people and goods with fewer vehicles on a virtually unchanged roads infrastructure to relieve inner cities and, at the same time, fulfill continually growing mobility requirements and customer desires. This would ultimately facilitate an improved quality of urban life – with the flexible and comfortable movement of people, efficient and sustainable transportation of goods, significantly lower noise and pollutant emissions and greater freedom in city planning.

Mercedes-Benz Vision URBANETIC people-mover module

As a fully networked vehicle, Vision URBANETIC is part of an ecosystem in which commercial and private mobility wishes are transmitted digitally. Vision URBANETIC collates these needs and fulfills them with a highly flexible fleet, facilitating a considerable improvement in the use of resources.

There are no release dates for the Vision Urbanetic to hit our roads. To be continued.

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