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Welcome to the future: Mercedes-Benz unveils its delivery robots fleet

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Welcome to the future -- yes, there will be robots.

Mercedes-Benz said it will invest roughly $560 million over the next five years in a futuristic electric van that is designed to carry delivery robots and drones from neighborhood to neighborhood to make deliveries. 

The company told CNN it will partner with Starship Technologies, which makes the six-wheeled robots. 

Robovan - Future Proof Local Delivery

WATCH  | The Robovan concept, explained

Mothership and delivery vans

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans will act as a sort of "mothership" and would hold up to eight delivery robots. 

The "Robovans" would essentially drive through neighborhoods, stopping at designated locations based on delivery density and demand, to drop off the robots which would complete the deliveries. 

After completing their deliveries, the robots would find their way back to the van and reload. 

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Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.

400 packages every 9-hour shift

"By leaving the door-to-door part to delivery robots, the van drivers' productivity will significantly rise while reducing congestion on the streets and CO2 emissions," Allan Martinson, Starship's chief operating officer, said in a statement. 

Martinson added  that the "Robovan" would use a racking system, allowing the robots to deliver 400 packages during every 9-hour shift. 

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Neither Mercedes-Benz nor Starship Technologies have said when we will see these futuristic vans hit the streets.

Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.


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