Mercedes-Benz Vans has presented its Vision Urbanetic concept, a mobility concept said to go beyond existing ideas on autonomous vehicles.
Vision Urbanetic eliminates the separation between people moving and goods transport. It enables movement of people and goods to fulfil the needs of cities, businesses, city dwellers and travellers.
The concept reduces traffic flows, relieves inner-city infrastructures and contributes to an improved quality of urban life.
The 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 load space 3.70 metres long fits into a total vehicle length of 5.14 metres.
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 on the basis of current transport needs.
Thanks to full networking, the evaluation of local information – such as concerts and events – and intelligent control, the system not only analyses current needs, it can also learn from them. It is thus able to anticipate and react to future needs.
This can optimise 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 centre – 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.
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 in order to relieve inner cities and, at the same time, fulfil continually growing mobility requirements and customer desires.
This would ultimately facilitate an improved quality of urban life – with flexible and comfortable movement of people, efficient and sustainable transportation of goods, significantly lower noise and pollutant emissions and greater freedom in city planning.
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 fulfils them with a highly flexible fleet, facilitating a considerable improvement in the use of resources.