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MERCEDES-BENZ Vans unveiled its vision of the future at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Vision URBANETIC opens up new perspectives on autonomous driving, enabling needs-based, sustainable and efficient transport of people and goods while meeting the needs of cities, companies from a wide range of industries, as well as travellers and commuters in innovative ways.

The concept reduces traffic flows and relieves inner-city infrastructures, while at the same time, it offers an outlook on future-oriented technologies for the interaction between human and machine.

The concept is based on an autonomously driven, electrically powered chassis, which can carry structures for passenger transport or goods transport. As a fully networked vehicle, it is part of an ecosystem in which commercial and private mobility wishes are transmitted digitally.

The concept integrates an IT infrastructure that analyses supply and demand in real time. The result is an autonomous fleet whose routes are planned flexibly and efficiently on the basis of the current transport needs.

Thanks to full networking, evaluation of local information and intelligent control, the system can not only analyse current requirements, but also learn from them.

This process can be optimised, shortening waiting times in local passenger traffic or congestion can be avoided. For example, the entire system recognises a larger group of people in a specific area via data recording in the Vehicle Control Centre. It can send vehicles there to serve the increased demand quickly and efficiently.

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Chris Wright
Chris Wright has been covering the automotive industry nationally and internationally for 30 years. Following spells with consumer titles he became News Editor of Automotive Management (AM), Editor of Automotive International, International Editor for Detroit-based Automotive News, and Editor of Dealer Update. He has also co-authored several FT Management Reports and contributes regularly to Justauto.com


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