Mercedes-Benz presents vision of modular AV

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The Urbanetic concept imagines an electrically powered, autonomous driving platform that can be fitted with different modules to serve as a cargo or people mover.

In van configuration, the lack of a driver means that it can carry a much larger volume of cargo than a traditional van: the 5.14m vehicle would have a 3.7m load space. This makes for a load volume of 10m3, or 10 EPAL palettes.

The cargo module could then be swapped out manually or automatically in a few minutes for a people-carrier module, offering space for up to 12 passengers. The platform could also make its way to a next job location without a body attached.

The concept vehicle could be part of an intelligent, self-learning IT infrastructure that learns and adapts to changing transportation needs, allowing the vehicles to anticipate traffic situations and adjust travel times accordingly.

By Illya Verpraet

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