Mercedes-Benz brings a new mobility concept for on-demand transportation. The Vision URBANETIC is based on an autonomous platform, that can be fitted with a cargo or people-mover module. Steering wheel, pedals, dashboard and the entire cockpit are things of the past.
The modules would be powered by battery and would move noiselessly and with zero emissions. The infrastructure would be capable of learning and it would serve as an economical, efficient and flexible in-city transportation.
Designed by Mercedes-Benz Vans as part of a holistic system solution, the Vision URBANETIC comes as a revolutionary mobility concept that contributes to a better quality of urban life, reducing traffic flows.
The concept is made up of a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can take different switchable bodies for people moving or goods transport. It is able to accommodate up to twelve passengers, while the cargo module can carry up to ten EPAL pallets. The load space measures 3.70 meters long inside a vehicle with a total length of 5.14 meters.
The concept integrates an IT infrastructure that constantly analyses the supply and demand within a pre-defined area, for a self-driving fleet with efficient and flexible routes. The system can analyze current needs and learn from them, it can anticipate and react to future necessities, thus optimizing procedures and shortening waiting and delivery times.
The scope of the Vision URBANETIC is to transport more people and goods with fewer vehicles on a virtually unchanged roads infrastructure. This would significantly relieve traffic and lower noise and pollutant emissions.
Vision URBANETIC is equipped with different interchangeable bodies depending on requirements. As a ride-sharing vehicle, it receives the people-mover body, providing space for up to twelve passengers. The modules are switched either automatically or manually and the automated process only takes a few minutes. The respective bodies are fixed on an autonomous driving platform.
The cargo module features a variable load floor and it can be divided into two levels and transport up to ten EPAL palettes. The load space has a volume of 10 m3.
The absence of a driver’s cab and thus of the steering wheel, dashboard and pedals, also frees up space for interior design. The vehicle makes use of multiple cameras and sensor systems to observe its surroundings in their entirety and communicates actively with them. The large-format display on the front of the vehicle informs pedestrians that it has noticed them. Several hundred light units display the contours of approaching people along the flanks, informing them that the vehicle has seen them as well.