Appearance in the series may not be so extravagant, the main thing is not the design, but the technical basis.
Mercedes-Benz Vans branch has built the concept of a modular urban unmanned vehicle Vision Urbanetic. It is a device with a detachable electric trolley and replaceable bodies, which the transport company can instantly change as needed, turning Urbanetic into an Autonomous taxi or a delivery van. Theoretically, such shells may be of the multi — car intelligence to the mobile café.
The Autonomous platform contains all the necessary components for movement, including sensors with cameras, and therefore is able to drive on the roads and without a body mounted on top, for example, moving from one garage or enterprise to another.
As a machine for ridesharing Urbanetic turns into a 12-seater minibus (eight seats upright). Of course, the whole service should be tied to the Network: ordering a place in the car, route selection, tracking the movement of the desired car. The constant “connection” of machines in such a network provides more opportunities for the transport operator. After all, it can monitor the need for modules in real time, quickly transferring a certain number of devices from the passenger sector to the delivery and back.
Inside the passenger module on the perimeter displays are placed, providing information about the route, important points of the city and even allow you to play mini-games. There is also a system of augmented reality with the output of information about urban objects.
The passenger module can be replaced by a van with a loading length of 3.7 m (total will be 5.14 m) and a volume of ten cubes, which accommodates up to ten Euro pallets on two levels. Body exchange takes a few minutes and can be controlled both automatically and manually.
Such flexibility and versatility of the system, according to the authors of the concept, will give a new quality of urban life, as well as reduce traffic flows in Metropolitan areas. Naturally, the local environment should also win: the city will receive the optimal number of electric cars, besides unmanned and loaded with work almost constantly (when they are not charging), which means that they are used in the optimal way.
The driver’s seat is absent in principle, which opens up great opportunities for varying the interior design and organization of useful space inside such a capsule.
The management system of this transport network should not only analyze the current needs, but also learn from past experience and predict requests for the movement of people and goods, for example, learning from the Network where and when a concert or a football match will take place. This, in theory, will allow you to transport more people or goods with fewer cars and fewer costs.
In the bow of the machine is a large display for communication with pedestrians drone. As we know, visual contact is important for the trust of others in robot machines.
Now 55% of the world’s population lives in cities, and by 2050 this proportion will be two-thirds. Exactly by the time such a transport system needs to save a major Metropolitan area from the eternal traffic jams and smog. One of the cities that could benefit from the novelty is Copenhagen. It was his Germans chose as a platform for a live demonstration of the concept. As part of a special event, it was even shown how the body is placed on a stand-alone trolley. We add that in one form or another the idea of self-propelled platforms and quickly replaced or transformed bodies for a flexible transport system has already sounded several times. From the latter you can remember the concepts of Toyota and Rinspeed.