Mercedes-Benz has recently unveiled a new concept for the transportation in cities. The Vision Urbanetic concept gives a glimpse of the future transit in 2030 and beyond. The idea revolves around the concept of a fully automatic chassis which has interchangeable pods that can switch between people movers to cargo delivery as per the city’s demand. The cargo option comes in a rounded box and a volume of 10 cubic meters. This size has space for 10 EPAL pallets in it. The passenger version of the swappable pods can carry 12 people who can sit in a circular formation inside an ergonomic capsule.
Mercedes-Benz said that it would be using the vehicles for ride-sharing instead of individual ownership. The autonomous cars do not need a steering wheel. Instead, there is a large, high-resolution display which shows the route information. An onboard computer controls the navigation, route updates and receives information about changing environmental conditions from a range of sensors. The company described the concept saying, “It enables on-demand, sustainable and efficient movement of people and goods – and applies an innovative approach to fulfill the needs of cities, businesses from diverse sectors as well as city dwellers and travelers. The concept reduces traffic flows, relieves inner-city infrastructures and contributes to an improved quality of urban life.”
The concept car has a battery-electric drive which gives zero-local-emissions mobility. Mercedes-Benz might also put a restriction on fossil fuel consuming vehicles. This will create a full system which will respond to a city’s changing needs or provide more passenger vehicles during the peak hours. The Urbanetic Vision system is smart and never stops learning. It is lined with machine learning, and the system architecture also allows to get a response from real-time traffic information.
The users will communicate with the vehicle with an app that allows for quick switching between passenger and cargo modes. Other companies are also working to develop their vision for the future of transport while Mercedes-Benz is the first one which is offering a switchable body on a smart drivetrain. The company has not revealed yet how the body will get switched, but they do emphasize that this is a system which is designed for future cities where zero emission, flexibility, and responsiveness is important.
Not just the cars but the system will also be embedded in the city. The smart autonomous system which will manage the fleet will receive feedback. By this feedback, the system will know where people are grouping and send a passenger vehicle to those areas where a group of people is gathering for car sharing.
Pretty cool concept, isn’t it?