Van of the future

Van of the future

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Mercedes-Benz Vans launches future initiative adVANce to expand its growth strategy and develop new business models
Mercedes-Benz Vans launches future initiative adVANce to expand its growth strategy and develop new business models

MERCEDES-Benz Vans has unveiled last Oct. 3 in Stuttgart, Germany its strategic future initiative adVANce for the transport industry. This sees the division systematically taking up its customers’ changing requirements. The transformation of the industry is the result of various economic and social trends, among them urbanization, the growth in e-commerce, the intelligent networking of a wide range of technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT), and the proliferation of platform-based business models.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is systematically making use of present-day and future technological opportunities presented by digitalization, automation and robotics. The business division is developing from a mere vehicle manufacturer into a provider of system solutions and will offer integrated and intelligent systems in addition to its basic vehicles in the future. These solutions can make the transportation of goods and passengers even more efficient and open up new business opportunities and economic benefits for costumers.

“In the first six months of this year, we brought in the best results yet for Mercedes-Benz Vans. This provides us with an excellent foundation to position our vans division systematically for the future”, said Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, at today’s Van Innovation Campus in Stuttgart.

“To live up to the dramatic changes in our sector, we adapt our
‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy and expand it beyond the product and untapped international markets. 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. In order to do this, we are investing around half a billion euros over the next five years, and we created a separate organizational unit. So far, this approach is unique within the van sector.”

With the adVANce initiative, Mercedes-Benz Vans is systematically adapting to new, rapidly changing customer requirements. Examples include the burgeoning business in food and everyday necessities ordered online. Here, demand for same-day delivery or delivery within an hour is increasing rapidly. At the same time, more and more people are living in cities – by 2030 urban areas will be home to more than two thirds of the world’s population. It is clear that the rising transportation requirements will need to be met even faster and more efficiently in future and, above all, in an environmentally friendly way.

All-electric “Vision Van” van study for innovative delivery on the last mile

Mercedes-Benz Vans is presenting a fascinating, integrated solution for new customer requirements with the “Vision Van” van study, which was presented today and evolved as part of the adVANce initiative. This all-electric vehicle combines various innovative solutions for last-mile delivery in urban and suburban environments. It is the first van worldwide to fully digitally connect all people and processes involved, from the distribution center to the consignee. Furthermore, it is the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated delivery drones. For example, if a parcel service provider stops his vehicle in a residential area, it will be possible to deliver multiple packages to nearby consignees autonomously by air – even if they are not at home – in addition to manual delivery.
This makes the deliverer’s job easier, reduces the delivery time and offers end customers new opportunities such as same-day delivery at an agreed time. Mercedes-Benz Vans envisages deployment of the Vision Van boosting efficiency by up to 50 percent on the last mile. The vehicle is equipped with a 75 kW electric drive and – depending on the intended application – has a range of 80 km to approximately 270 km. With the Vision Van, deliveries are emission-free.

“With the Vision Van from Mercedes-Benz Vans we provide an idea of future generations of vans: the intelligent automation technology connects the entire process, from loading and transportation by road through to delivery to the consignee. This makes it easier for the deliverer to do business and rapidly reduces the delivery time for end customers”, added Volker Mornhinweg.

“Equipped with an electric drive system, the Vision Van not only operates locally emission-free, it also moves almost silently. This means that it can be operated in cities even during times when there are traffic restrictions or for late-night deliveries in residential areas. This gives our customers the possibility of offering new services to their customers.”

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