Matternet partners with Mercedes-Benz Vans for drone deliveries

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Mercedes-Benz Vision Van

Drone logistics developer, Matternet has started a strategic partnership with Mercedes-Benz Vans to create delivery systems, which it says will transform how people receive lightweight goods on demand.

It says autonomous drone deliveries have the potential to be vastly more efficient, faster and cheaper, while Mercedes-Benz Vans unveiled the Vision Van, showcasing the end-to-end platform for last-mile delivery, featuring a fully automated cargo management system and Matternet delivery drones.

The Matternet technology is integrated into the roof of the van allowing for precision landing and automatic payload and battery exchange. Matternet says its cloud technology is integrated with Mercedes-Benz’s van routing software allowing end-to-end control of the supply chain.

Matternet co-founder and chief executive officer, Andreas Raptopoulos says: “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.”

He adds: “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.”

Matternet says it has gained certification from authorities around the world including the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, and its system is designed to enable flight over populated urban areas. The new Matternet M2 drone is completely autonomous and can transport up to two kilogrammes and travel up to 12 miles on a single battery charge.

The drone developer says the M2 can drop and reload a payload and battery without human interaction, and its payload box can transmit data about its content and destination, as well as offer precision landing capabilities and captures proof of delivery.