Screengrab via Mercedes-Benz/YouTube

Watch the Mercedes-Benz Vision Van sort its own packages

Taking autonomous to new levels.


Published Jan 7, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 6:11 am CDT

Mercedes-Benz’s Vision Van, a prototype delivery vehicle loaded with futuristic technologies, is the single best illustration of the trends featured at CES.

Phillip Tracy

Based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, the Vision Van was first unveiled in September. It is a mix between a delivery vehicle, smart car, and drone hub. 

The van—which is driven while using a joystick—features a fully-automated cargo space, and it can carry eight drones for autonomous air deliveries (two massive drones sit on its roof). 

The video below shows the automated cargo space in action:

Driverless handling vehicles load the racks in the back of the van using an automated one-shot loading process. The cargo system transfers packages for manual delivery to the deliverer at the destination by means of the package dispenser on board the vehicle.  

The Matternet-created drones on top of the van can carry up to two kilograms, or 4.4 pounds, and deliver within a radius of 10 kilometers (about six miles). They can also change out their batteries without any human intervention. 

The van will drive itself around in accordance with a pre-planned delivery route. It is powered by a 75 kW electric drive system with a range of up to 270 kilometers for emission-free driving. 

The Vision Van at CES is only a prototype model. Mercedes has not announced a release date.

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*First Published: Jan 7, 2017, 7:25 am CST