With Mercedes-Benz starting to highlight green and semi-autonomous technologies to their passenger cars, the automaker now turns its focus towards vans. Dubbed the Initiative AdVANce concept, Mercedes-Benz aims to provide digitalisation, automation and robotics in vans as well as innovative mobility solutions.

The Mercedes-Benz AdVANce concept aims to digitally connect all people and processes involved, from the distribution center to the consignee. The concept integrates connectivity technologies into the van, which boosts efficiency and make it a central component of the digital value chain. Mercedes-Benz is currently developing a telematics unit for vans which collects and processes data concerning the status of the delivery tour, the present location and the load, and sends this information to the distribution manager.

Mercedes-Benz Van Concept

Another highlight is the use of integrated delivery drones. The automaker says this improves the delivery of packages with the ability to deliver multiple addresses autonomously by air in addition to manual delivery. This system aims to make the deliverer’s job easier, reduce delivery time and offer customers new opportunities such as same-day delivery at an agreed time. 

The concept van is powered by a wide variety of electric motor options. Mercedes-Benz highlighted the range topping electric motor with 121 PS and a range of 270 kilometers. The company says that smaller battery packs can also be configured to save on costs for inner city deliveries.

With the next-gen Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van currently in under development, it is possible that some of the technologies seen on this concept may eventually be applied to the production model. The concept may also preview the look of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.