Unveiled in Copenhagen, the Mercedes-Benz Concept Car Vision Urbanetic looks to change how the world views vans and autonomous vehicles. First, the van is electrically powered, but beyond that, the van also has the ability of switching up its purpose from transporting people to transporting cargo. Employing a switchable body mechanism, the Vision Urbanetic can go from accommodating up to 12 people to carrying up to 10 EPAL pallets. The chassis runs autonomously from the body, opening up the possibility of even more options in the body department.
Vision Urbanetic also uses analyses of road environments in real time to help reduce congestion. It also takes a look at supply and demand for commercial and private mobility in an area. Fully networked, the Vision Urbanetic can adjust its route based on real-time traffic information. It will also look at events that will have large crowds to determine whether it should avoid that area for faster deliveries, or go to that area to provide more ride sharing.
Autonomous vehicles face an uphill battle in getting the public’s trust, so the Vision Urbanetic has been outfitted with multiple cameras and sensors so that can all be communicated with passengers on the large high-resolution display. Additionally, the battery-electric drive has true zero-local-emissions mobility, so that when fossil fuel dependent vehicles are restricted in the future, these vans will be able to access more dense urban areas.