- Daimler AG partnered with software startup Matternet to develop a concept for an electric delivery van equipped with drones to drop off parcels into a reality, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- The new drone vehicle seeks to minimize "last mile" costs for Daimler AG's clients, which include but are not limited to FedEx and Deutsche Post.
- The van would have a fully automated cargo space to track packages and instantly create efficient delivery maps, while communicating with a delivery database to command drones for a light-weight drop off service.
Last-mile delivery services have historically been tagged as the most expensive part of the fulfillment process since transportation hubs and services typically do not reach to individuals' front doors. The rise of e-commerce, however, has made this service all the more important for retailers.
Daimler AG and Matternet's concept combines two rising trends: autonomous vehicles and automated parcel delivery services; and as more and more companies reach for the first-to-market advantage, the company probably hopes its all-in-one package and existing relationships with various parcel delivery services will help it capture a large market share.
The company has no intention of being trapped in the delivery sphere, however. Its website suggests it also intends to sell the drone and automated vehicle technology to other relevant industries, such as construction and even passenger transport.