Mercedes is more and more into autonomous cars and is developing new technologies, fot the moment only at a concept stage. So is the Vision URBANETIC, a revolutionary mobility concept that goes way beyond existing ideas on autonomous vehicles. Vision URBANETIC eliminates the separation between people moving and goods transport.

The visionary concept is based on a self-driving, electrically powered chassis that can be replaced by different switchable bodies that can accommodate people or goods transport. As a ride-sharing vehicle, Vision URBANETIC can accommodate up to twelve passengers, while the cargo module can carry up to ten EPAL pallets. A load space 3.70 m. (12 ft.) long fits into a total vehicle length of 5.14 m. (16.8 ft.). Plus, the concept incorporates an IT infrastructure that analyzes in real time the supply and demand within a defined area. The result is a self-driving fleet, with routes planned flexibly and efficiently on the basis of current transportation needs.

Thanks to fully automated driverless operation, operating costs fall significantly with Vision URBANETIC. Plus, with the exception of charging times for the battery-electric drive and maintenance periods, each vehicle can be in use around the clock, 365 days a year. It means, for example, profitable operation of local public transport solutions which would not be commercially viable with a driver. Likewise, the concept provides an answer to an ever- increasing demand in areas such as the logistics sector – a lack of drivers.

The absence of a driver’s cab also frees up space for interior design. Steering wheel, pedals, dashboard and the entire cockpit are things of the past. The space can instead be used for additional passengers or higher goods volume.