Urban transport the Benz way
CONTINUING the theme started by Toyota’s e-Pallete and Einride’s robotic, wheeled platforms, Mercedes-Benz last week introduced the Vision Urbanetic concept.
Basically an electric platform with full autonomous driving systems to deliver a wide range of loads, the concept aims to be the basis for a transport company fleet or a public transportation system rather than for personal transport.
Mercedes said in a statement that the platform could deliver a fleet that requires fewer vehicles, yet can operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as a mover of both goods and people.
No driver means cheaper running costs and less human error, and the ability to run at all hours without mandatory rest stops makes any fleet more efficient. Electric drive trains also reduce inner-city noise and pollution. The autonomous driving systems include full networking with an IT infrastructure that can analyse factors such as local events, crowds, the Vision Urbanetic’s status and input from other networked vehicles to make a realtime determination of supply and demand, and optimise this with flexible routes and timetables.