CES 2017 Update: Companies from all over the world have gathered to showcase their latest innovative products in Las Vegas, USA. Among these companies is the famous car manufacturer Mercedes. The company has lift the wraps on its future van with drones and robot arms for delivery incorporated on the vehicle.
Merciless technological advancements are threatening the survival of many traditional job, and it seems good old mailman job is under threat as well. Yesterday, at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, Mercedes-Benz shed the spotlight on what it considers to be the package delivery future. The company is of the view that its new delivery fan will revolutionize package delivery business.
Although shipping packages all across the globe is not that hard due to planes, cargo ships, wheeler trucks, but in busy cities where traffic and road congestion is becoming a serious issue, problems are compounding for online retailers and businesses to deliver orders on time.
Mercedes thinks that it has come up with the perfect solution to this ‘last-mile’ package delivery problem that many companies are facing these days in the form of a van that uses its roof-mounted drones and robotic package delivering devices to carry packages from the vehicle.
Mirroring Amazon’s drone delivery and automated warehouses, Mercedes’s Vision Van concept vehicle is designed to shrink the amount of time required to sort ordered packages for delivery along with the actual time of the delivery. The Vision Van from Mercedes has no windows. It has just a single windshield. Astonishingly, the vehicles doesn’t even contain steering wheel or pedals. The driver can control the vehicle with just a joystick.
Mercedes says the Vision Van would be loaded up at a warehouse before carrying orders for delivery. Moreover, loading the van is easy compared to a regular truck on which packages are loaded one by one. In Mercedes delivery van, the entire cargo area pulls out and gets substituted by a new one already packed with delivery parcels. All packages are get a unique code which is used by robot arms to automatically identity the correct order for delivery to its address. The robot arms then puts the package connected with a battery onto the drone in the van’s roof. Once the package is loaded on the drone, it flies to its address.
For this project of the vision concept van, Mercedes worked with an autonomous drone company in California that has already worked with the Swiss government to test out drone deliveries through its postal service. However, as Mercedes told Quartz, that the company has no plans on starting the production of this concept van anytime soon, it opens up a bright future for drone delivery and convenience in the future subject, of course, to governmental regulations.
In the US, where regulations require the drone to be within the drivers sight at all time caste doubt over the widespread commercial appeal of the the flight of delivery drones like the one Mercedes just showed at CES 2017. But, in some countries, like New Zealand, its legal to deliver pizzas via drone delivery from anywhere. US aviation authorities are collaborating with NASA to work out a mechanism that ensures safe self-driving drone deliveries in the country.
Possibility of the drone deliveries, such as the one shown by Mercedes in CES 2017, could be near than we expect considering the technological advancements being made in the field of package delivery via drones. As to when will this super van by Mercedes will be on roads, nothing can be said with certainty, sometimes it takes years. Let’s hope its note the case with this special looking van.
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