[CES 2017] Mercedes-Benz has a vision for the future when it comes to vans. I know, most of us would think that vans are pretty boring vehicles to drive around in. They lack the kind of horsepower underneath the hood to impress anyone at a red light when it turns green, and is touted to be the poor man’s people mover with luxury MPVs plying our roads. Not so with Mercedes-Benz’s latest Vision Van concept that is exhibited at CES 2017.
This is a Van unlike any other than you have seen before. The Vision Van is impressive from all angles, never mind that it is a tad boxy in its form factor. Merging both the fields of transport and digitization, the Vision Van will integrate information and technologies unlike ever before. It carries the distinction of being the very first van in the world that functions as an integrated concept for a completely digitally connected process chain.
In other words, right from the goods distribution depot to the consignee, it is in the loop. Sporting an wholly automated load compartment, it also comes with drones of its own to ensure that autonomous air deliveries can continue regardless of the traffic situation, with a state-of-the-art joystick control. A 75 kW electric drive system will keep the Vision Van moving, where a full battery charge can offer up to 270 km of range. Deliveries with the Vision Van would then be emission-free and are more or less silent due to the lack of a traditional engine.
Not only that, the Vision Van is capable of communicating with different road users thanks to the Black Panel radiator grille that has a LED matrix. The presence of a LED display that is integrated in the rear end will be able to warn those at the back as to when the vehicle is stopping, turning or releasing drones. Road users will also be pleased to note that the Vision Van can inform others that it is parked, and can be overtaken. This is definitely one van that I would love to own!