Matternet and Mercedes-Benz in van and drone partnership
08 / 09 / 2016
Drone-maker Matternet has signed a strategic partnership that will see Germany’s Mercedes-Benz Vans make a multi-million dollar investment in an end-to-end platform for last-mile delivery.
Mercedes-Benz Vans has unveiled its Vision Van concept, featuring a fully automated cargo management system and Matternet delivery drones. See video here
Matternet developed the technology that is integrated into the roof of the van, allowing for precision landing and automatic payload and battery exchange. Matternet’s cloud technology is integrated with Mercedes-Benz’s van routing software, allowing end-to-end control of the supply chain.
Andreas Raptopoulos, co-founder and chief executive of Matternet, said: “In Mercedes-Benz Vans, we found a partner that is not only synonymous with quality, safety, reliability and efficiency, but is also willing to imagine and create the future of transportation with us.
“We are driven by a common vision to automate last-mile logistics, which today is the least efficient and most expensive part of logistics. Through this partnership, we are building solutions that will dramatically reduce the time and cost of on-demand delivery.”
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans, said: “With our Vision Van, we are going beyond the vehicle. We have been working closely with Matternet to create the world’s first fully connected and automated cargo van with integrated delivery drones. ”
Matternet has also unveiled its second generation drone, Matternet M2 which is completely autonomous.
It can transport up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs) and travel up to 20 km (12 miles) on a single battery charge. It can drop and reload a payload and battery without human interaction, and features a smart payload box that can transmit data about its contents and destination.
It also has precision landing capabilities and captures proof of delivery.