Mercedes just unveiled a bizarre-looking delivery van that uses drones to drop off packages

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Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz is getting into package deliveries.

The German automaker is pouring $562 million over the next five years to create a network of all-electric vans and drones for a rapid delivery service.

Scroll down for a closer look at the project.


Meet the Mercedes Vision Van: an all-electric vehicle with a range up to 168 miles.

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Mercedes-Benz

The interior of the van has a fully automated cargo space. It features a mechanical shelving system that loads packages and knows where each package is going. The driver will get a notification when approaching a drop-off location for a package.

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Mercedes-Benz

A drone will accompany the van by sitting on a landing station on top. When the van approaches a drop-off location, the shelving system will push the package to the drone so it can be flown to its final location.

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Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes will use the the Matternet M2 drone that can travel 12 miles on a single charge. Mercedes announced a “multi-million” investment in the startup Matternet on Wednesday.

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Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes is developing a telematics unit for the van that can relay the status of a package to the distribution manager so last-minute delivery changes can be made easily.

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Mercedes-Benz

Andreas Raptopoulous, the founder and CEO of Matternet, told Business Insider’s Ariel Schwartz that he could see the delivery system working in tandem with a company like Amazon. A customer could order something off Amazon and elect to have it delivered by a nearby Vision Van, he said.

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Mercedes-Benz

Source: Business Insider


There’s no timeline for when we can see the van-and-drone system in action, but Raptopoulous said it could be another several months or year before testing is completed.

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Mercedes-Benz