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September 8, 2016

Mercedes-Benz looks to build ‘Robovan’ with delivery robots

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans will act as ‘motherships’.

By Hannah Williams

Starship Technologies, the delivery transformation start-up, has today announced its partnership with Mercedes-Benz Vans to develop ‘Robovan’.

The company is currently known for its production of autonomous delivery robots which arrived in London in July.

The robot van stands as the world’s first transportation system that sees autonomous delivery robots integrated with specially-adapted vans. The company claims to have covered over 12,000km with its delivery robots around the world.

Ahti Heinla, CEO of Starship Technologies, said: “Starship Technologies has solved the last mile problem by introducing sidewalk delivery robots. However, vans are best suited to bring goods to the local area from businesses and distribution centres.”

In order to make new approaches market-ready, Mercedes-Benz Vans has been investing in several innovative start-ups within areas of automation, robotics and mobility services; one being Starship Technologies.

It is expected that the semi-autonomous transportation system will see Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans act as ‘motherships’, which will host eight delivery robots.

Volker Mornhinweg, Head of Mercedes-Benz Vans said: “We see a huge potential for robotic delivery systems in the future…with this we are able to increase the efficiency of delivery by an order of magnitude.”

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The partnership between the two companies follows Starship Technologies’ launch of commercial delivery tests in the UK, Germany and Switzerland last month; with various food, grocery and parcel industries.


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