New York Stock Exchange
NYSE

10.29 USD -0.15%

Borsa Italiana

9.19 EUR -0.33%

Data delayed 15 mins. See terms

Special Delivery in Cities of the Future

​​

A revolutionary cab, which is open, giving a sense of space and an unfettered view of the loading bay

With more than 100 drops or more per day, the delivery driver has to be fast and efficient but faces an inhospitable environment including heavy traffic and unpredictable hazards. What’s more, as cities respond to calls to cut carbon emissions, planners are looking at how freight and deliveries can better fit into a sustainable, green world – which will affect the design, function and production of delivery vehicles.

​​​

An early sketch of the Vision concept​

​At Iveco, part of that sustainable future has already arrived – unveiled in September 2014 at the Hanover commercial vehicle show in the shape of the Vision van. A working prototype developed in collaboration with logistics giant DHL, the Vision features a dual fuel electric/hybrid engine with impressive performance. In electric mode, the van can run at 50kph over a range of 40km, giving it plenty of juice to move from an out-of-town distribution hub into and around zero emission cities and back again, while the hybrid mode offers up to 25% improved fuel efficiency.

“Hybrid mode offers up to 25% improved fuel efficiency”

​​​

The Vision Van, Iveco vision for the future of urban deliveries

​The roof supports solar panels, which feed the electric battery, and tire pressure is adjusted automatically according to the weight of the load – another fuel saving feature and safety device. In the loading bay, a load management system helps to ensure parcels are stored in the most efficient order and a flexible containment system stops them sliding about and getting damaged in transit. There is also direct access from the driving seat to the rear cargo area to improve driver safety. The back door opens up, helping to keep parcel and driver dry in bad weather.

​​​​​

A revolutionary cab, which is open, giving a sense of space and an unfettered view of the loading bay​

​​In the cab, wraparound windows give 360 degree visibility and the side pillars feature holes to minimize blind spots. Technology abounds to improve the logistics side of the job with GPS, automatic parcel tracking, and driver identification. And the designers have also looked at driver health and safety. Steering wheel sensors can detect sweat, temperature and pulse rates – indicators of driver distress – and the on-board computer can monitor acceleration and breaking for signs of sleepiness.

For Ivan Calaon, Head of the Vision Project in the Iveco section of the Innovation department, the Vision is a traveling sensor, sending information to the driver, the fleet manager, the surrounding infrastructure and other vehicles. “It’s one element of the chain to keep traffic and freight flowing,” he says. “It means change can be managed in real time – everyone involved can make and communicate the best decisions, so maximizing efficiency. We’re also reducing the driver’s cognitive load, cutting driver stress, meaning fewer accidents.

Although the Vision is a prototype, much of the technology is already close to production and Iveco expects to have a mass produced version ready within three years. But the engineers aren’t resting on their laurels. Says Calaon: “We’re working on adaptive systems, a vehicle that can change in terms of traction and modularity. It will be flexible and adaptable to whatever is needed of it throughout its life.”

Now there’s a Vision of the future.

“The Vision is a traveling sensor, sending information to the driver, the fleet manager, the surrounding infrastructure and other ​​vehicles. It means change can be managed in real time.”