Mercedes-Benz has announced a partnership with autonomous drone logistics solution provider Matternet on the future of delivery drones. Together, the companies have released the Vision Van, a Mercedes-Benz van that provides a landing space, automatic payload, and battery exchange on the roof for delivery drones.
“With our Vision Van, we are going beyond the vehicle,” said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We have been working closely with Matternet to create the world’s first fully connected and automated cargo van with integrated delivery drones. Matternet is a trusted partner, and we are looking forward to what we can accomplish together.”
Matternet’s cloud technology will be integrated into the Vision Van with Mercedes-Benz’s routing software in order to provide end-to-end control. In addition, Matternet released the second version of its drone solution, the Matternet M2. The M2 autonomous drone is capable of transporting up to 4.4 pounds and travel 12 miles on one battery charge. The drone aims to deliver and receive payloads and batteries without human interaction.
“In Mercedes-Benz Vans, we found a partner that is not only synonymous with quality, safety, reliability and efficiency, but is also willing to imagine and create the future of transportation with us,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, cofounder and CEO of Matternet. “We are driven by a common vision to automate last-mile logistics, which today is the least efficient and most expensive part of logistics. Through this partnership, we are building solutions that will dramatically reduce the time and cost of on-demand delivery.”