Mercedes-Benz and Matternet unveil vans that launch delivery drones
【Summary】Mercedes-Benz Vans and drone tech startup Matternet have created a concept car, or as they’re calling it a Vision Van, that could change the way small packages are delivered across short distances.
Mercedes-Benz Vans and drone tech startup Matternet have created a concept car, or as they're calling it a Vision Van, that could change the way small packages are delivered across short distances.
The Vision Van's rooftop serves as a launch and landing pad for Matternet's new, Matternet M2 drones.
The Matternet M2 drones, which are autonomous, can pick up and carry a package of 4.4 pounds across 12 miles of sky on a single battery charge in real world conditions.
They are designed to reload their payload and swap out batteries without human intervention. They work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz Vans' on-board and cloud-based systems so that items within a van are loaded up into the drone, automatically, at the cue of software and with the help of robotic shelving systems within the van.
Matternet designed a hard-shelled case to protect and carry any given cargo. The drone's payload can transmit data about the contents and destination of a given delivery.
For a logistics company using the Matternet M2 drones or Vision Vans, that data could serve as a kind of proof of delivery, and alert users the instant a package has arrived.
Andreas Raptopoulos, co-founder and CEO of Matternet explained that while all of this sounds and looks like the stuff of sci-fi, the vans with integrated drone technology could be put to immediate good use where regulations allow.
The Vision Van can, for example, launch a Matternet M2 drone with a payload to a final destination that's not accessible to a van or driver, whether that's due to traffic in a populated urban area or a lack of safe roads in a more rural or disaster-stricken area.
Or, the drones could fly a package from a distribution center or warehouse to a van so a driver can ultimately take the package down and walk it up to a customer's doorstep nearby.
A division of Daimler, Mercedes-Benz may be better known for its luxury and sports cars. However, the Mercedes-Benz Vans unit sold 321,000 vehicles in 2015, according to a company financial statement, with popular models in travel and logistics including the Sprinter, Marco Polo, Vito (known as the Metris in the U.S.) and Citan.
According to a company press statement Mercedes-Benz has invested an undisclosed amount in Matternet. According to SEC filings, Matternet has so far raised $9.5 million of a targeted $11.5 million venture funding round.
Raptopolous declined to comment on the filing or the company's funding status. Executives from Mercedes-Benz Vans were not immediately available for an interview.
Earlier this year, Matternet developed unmanned aircraft systems for UNICEF that are being used to transport blood samples for HIV testing in Malawi. The initiative could speed up the delivery of care to HIV-positive infants across the country where 10,000 children died of HIV-related illnesses in 2014.
resource from: techcrunch
Waze launches Bluetooth beacons to avoid tunnel blackouts
What is the maximum electric-car price for mass-market success? Poll results
InfluxData closes $16 million Series B led by Battery Ventures to organize IOT data
Google's vision of a driverless future just got a big boost from the government
Self-Driving Car Guidelines Call for Information Sharing
Set Self-Driving Cars Free
2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Chevy Bolt EV not on shared architecture, but platform name secret, GM says
Renault is reportedly about to unveil a new all-electric Zoe with ~200 miles of range
- Lucid Launches New Performance Brand ‘Sapphire’ with a 1,200 Horsepower, Tri-Motor Version of the Lucid Air Sedan
- China Added 963,000 Electric Vehicle Charging Piles Since January in its Push to Lead the World in EV Sales
- Audi Rebrands its Premium Car Rental Service to ‘Audi on demand’
- China’s CATL to Supply Honda with 123 GWh of Electric Vehicle Batteries by 2030
- Toyota is Investing an Additional $2.5 Billion to Expand its North Carolina Factory to Boost EV Battery Production
- Volkswagen’s Software Unit CARIAD Selects Innoviz as its Direct Lidar Supplier for the Automaker's Future Software-Defined Vehicles
- Chevrolet Bolt EV, Bolt EUV Get Dramatic Price Cuts
- NHTSA Opens Investigations Into Two New Fatal Tesla Accidents
- Ford Announces the Largest Utility Agreement in the U.S. History to Assemble All of its Vehicles in Michigan Using 100% Renewable Energy by 2025
- Good Time to Buy Into China's EV Industry