Vision URBANETIC: More flexibility, faster goods availability

The logistics sector as well as building companies, tradespeople and the service sector are booming right now, with sustained positive growth prospects

The logistics sector as well as building companies, tradespeople and the service sector are booming right now, with sustained positive growth prospects. However, greater business prospects come with greater challenges. Significantly more goods will have to be moved on the same traffic infrastructure.

Market situation/market potential:

Global trade is flourishing, rising by 18.2 percent between 2010 and 2016 alone. The WTO (World Trade Organisation) forecasts average growth of up to three percent per year until 2050. One major reason for this is population growth. According to calculations by the United Nations, there were around 7.6 billion people living on Earth in 2017. By 2030, it could be 8.5 billion people and around 10 billion by 2050. The majority of the global population will live in urban areas. By 2050, this proportion could be as high as 70 percent.

Challenges for the sector:

According to estimations, urban freight traffic is set to treble between 2010 and 2050. It is already evident that the traffic infrastructure, especially in urban areas, cannot grow to the same extent. This means that significantly more goods must be transported in future on the existing traffic network. The reduction of CO2emissions is also gaining in importance. According to a study by the OECD, bundling goods streams, sharing concepts and the resulting increased efficiency in volume utilisation per vehicle as well as electric drive can make a major contribution to CO2 reduction.  Despite the enormous increase in freight volumes, this could keep emissions at roughly around 2015 levels.

Usage scenario for Vision URBANETIC:

There are a great many usage options for Vision URBANETIC’s cargo module, such as a mobile parts or material store for tradespeople. Last-minute reordering and last-mile delivery occur fully automatically. The inventory management system of the building contractor or trade specialist identifies stock shortages and issues an order. Just-in-time deliveries will become the norm for smaller projects, too, raising efficiency on site because specialists are able to concentrate on their actual job. Moreover, delivery of parts and material no longer has to be bound by working hours at the job location, meaning the mobile parts and material store can drive outside busy times, e.g. at night, in order to reduce rush-hour traffic.

Vision URBANETIC also displays its merits in the supply process for branch networks of wholesale and retail companies. As a mobile delivery depot, it provides greater delivery flexibility and faster goods availability. It thus fulfils the needs of smaller, decentralized retail outlets that, due to limited storage space, often submit last-minute delivery requirements. Vision URBANETIC therefore smooths out fluctuations in demand or storage bottlenecks. Autonomous driving and zero-emissions electric drive mean Vision URBANETIC can also facilitate deliveries in this sector outside busy traffic times, thus contributing to a reduction in road congestion.

The new concept for the load space in the cargo module also promises efficiency increases. Thanks to an intelligent loading system and the adaptable “Cargo Flex Floor”, Vision URBANETIC can accommodate up to ten EPAL cage pallets on two levels. If there is a need for maximum load height, the intermediate floor can fold to the side to fit standard refrigerated units 2.03 metres high. Pneumatic roller tracks in the intermediate floor and on the main vehicle floor ease the loading and unloading of heavy goods. The cargo volume is 10 m3, putting it on par with a large van despite its more compact outer dimensions. Fully automated loading with pre-stocked shelves on Euro pallets is possible. The fully connected vehicle structure allows Vision URBANETIC to slot completely into the digital process chain, thus enabling fully autonomous goods logistics. This scope of possible future services includes detailed shipment tracking, precision temperature monitoring during transport and shock tracking for fragile goods. The concept of an autonomous skateboard chassis and different types of body modules also forms the basis for developing further sector-specific solutions, deriving new body concepts and switching last-minute and flexibly between different use cases.

SOURCE: Daimler

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