The Digital Transformation of Mercedes-Benz Vans: Leveraging artificial intelligence in last-mile logistics

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– Future Transportation team of Mercedes-Benz Vans develops AI-powered cargo sensor system.

– With computer vision and AI the new Cargo Recognition and Organization System (CoROS) is able to optimize the delivery process of logistic companies.

 

Mercedes-Benz Vans is transforming itself into a provider of holistic transportation solutions with the help of new digital product offerings. The Future Transportation team of Mercedes-Benz Vans developed a new AI-powered cargo sensor system to address the growing demands of e-commerce and last-mile delivery.

The growing popularity of e-commerce has led to high revenues for delivery service providers but has also put strain on their ability to manage this increase of packages and deliver them under tight deadlines. To meet these challenges for its commercial van customers, Mercedes-Benz Vans is developing next-generation in-vehicle cargo systems powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. These new technologies automate cargo management, decrease package handling and improve delivery times, allowing logistics companies to deliver more packages with greater speed, transparency and efficiency.

The Cargo Recognition and Organization System, known as CoROS equips the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with an array of cameras that automatically scan and track packages as they enter and exit the vehicle. Leveraging computer vision and AI, CoROS identifies, scans, and records packages as they are brought into the vehicle and recommends the optimal loading position based on the package’s size and final destination. CoROS continuously monitors the cargo space throughout a driver’s route and tracks any changes to a package’s location if a sharp turn or road bump causes the cargo to shift, or if the driver reorganizes their cargo throughout the day. At each stop, the system automatically looks up the customer’s order and directs the driver to that customer’s packages via LEDs installed on shelves and throughout the cargo space. CoROS also reduces time spent by the driver searching for the right packages at each customer stop, enabling faster and more reliable deliveries.

The system provides additional benefits through real-time status updates for fleet managers and customers on a driver’s progress and the status of individual packages, reducing potential customer frustration regarding uncertain delivery times. This data also provides valuable insight into a fleet’s performance, allowing fleet managers and dispatchers to forecast delays, optimize process operations, and address areas of concern.

Launched as proof of concept at IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, Germany, it will be now presented at Fleet Forward Conference in San Francisco, October 9.

At home in a garage in Menlo Park, the Future Transportation team of Mercedes-Benz Vans uses user-centered design and rapid prototyping to innovate new products. Its interdisciplinary team combines Mercedes-Benz’s decades of expertise in the commercial vehicle sector with fresh perspectives from a variety of industries. Leveraging the innovative Silicon Valley network, the Mercedes-Benz Vans Future Transportation explores new ventures and opportunities in the changing transportation ecosystem, and considers how emerging technologies will shape the future landscape of logistics and mobility. As part of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America headquartered in Sunnyvale the team is part of the global R&D network of Daimler AG.

Further information about Mercedes-Benz is available online:
www.mbrdna.com and www.media.daimler.com