Daimler says it has a solution for logistics companies and public transport operators that are short of drivers and want to use their electric vehicles more efficiently. The German automaker is developing a twin-purpose vehicle — an autonomous EV that can switch between being a people carrier and a delivery van.
The concept consists of a chassis with two "modules" — an egg-shaped minibus that can seat as many as 12 and a cargo version — that can be switched in less than two minutes.
The Vision Urbanetic vehicles will be able to analyze mobility needs, adapt routes and avoid traffic jams, the company said. The goal is also to cut emissions in polluted city centers.
"Our new concept underlines that we don't want to wait and see what happens next, we want to start the phase of autonomous driving quickly," Mercedes Vans division head Volker Mornhinweg said.
A timeline for a potential rollout will be published during the IAA Commercial Vehicles trade show in Hanover, Germany, starting this week.