The Vision URBANETIC study from Mercedes-Benz vans shows us how innovative future technologies could bring autonomous driving, more efficient transport for travellers, commuters or freight, and how we could interact with our future vehicles.
Many people still view autonomous vehicles with a certain degree of scepticism, which is why Mercedes-Benz has been working on solutions to create a balance between people and technology. People need to be able to quickly and reliably assess what an autonomous vehicle will do next and Mercedes believes that the vehicle must inform people about its intentions in a way that they can grasp directly and intuitively.
Mercedes envisages being able to transport more people and goods with fewer vehicles on a virtually unchanged roads infrastructure in order to relieve inner cities and, at the same time, fulfil continually growing mobility requirements and customer desires. This would ultimately facilitate an improved quality of urban life – with flexible and comfortable movement of people, efficient and sustainable transportation of goods, significantly lower noise and pollutant emissions.
The Vision URBANETIC breaks new ground in communicating with its environment. Using various camera and sensor systems, the vehicle fully perceives its surroundings in their entirety and communicates actively with it. Pedestrians who cross the street in front of it are informed by the large-format display in the front of the vehicle through special animations that they have been perceived. A similar function is fulfilled by the digital shadowing that makes the side door area an active display. Several hundred light units signal the approaching persons that they have been recognised. Their contours are shown schematically on the outer shell. Pedestrians or cyclists can assess upcoming actions of the vehicle quickly and reliably.
An autonomous fleet of these vehicles, with an IT infrastructure analysing supply and demand in real time, can anticipate and respond to future needs to shorten waiting times in local passenger traffic or avoid congestion. For example, the entire system recognises a larger group of people in a specific area via data recording in the Vehicle Control Centre. It could send people carrier vehicles there to serve the increased demand quickly and efficiently.
As an electric vehicle, the Vision URBANETIC delivers zero-local-emissions to make it perfect for city centres and areas subject to access restrictions. The virtually noiseless electric drive is ideal for late or night-time deliveries as another way to manage inner-city traffic flows. d0 Book Ti