A VISION of the van of the future has come from Mercedes-Benz with a vehicle that is compatible with drones for airborne deliveries and a modular loading platform that slides cargo into the rear.
Called adVANce it sets out Mercedes' strategy for the changing face of the transport industry.
The Vision Van is totally electric with a range of more than 160 miles and is designed to cope with customers who demand an instant service.
Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-BenzVans, said: "With the VisionVan from Mercedes-BenzVans we provide an idea of future generations of vans: the intelligent automation technology connects the entire process, from loading and transportation by road through to delivery to the consignee.
"This makes it easier for the deliverer to do business and rapidly reduces the delivery time for end customers.
"Equipped with an electric drive system, the VisionVan not only operates locally emission-free, it also moves almost silently. This means that it can be operated in cities even during times when there are traffic restrictions or for late-night deliveries in residential areas. This gives our customers the possibility of offering new services to their customers."
The Vision Van was revealed at the Mercedes Van Innovation Campus in Stuttgart as the world's first 'digital' van which connects all the people and processes involved, from the distribution centre to the consignee.
It is also the first van ever to feature a fully automated cargo space and integrated delivery drones which land and take off from the roof.
If a parcel service driver stops the vehicle in a residential area it will be possible to deliver multiple packages to nearby customers by air - even if they are not at home.
This makes the deliverer's job easier, reduces the delivery time and offers end customers new opportunities such as same-day delivery at an agreed time.
Mercedes says it envisages deployment of the VisionVan boosting efficiency by up to 50percent over the last mile of a delivery.