Mercedes-Benz is teasing the release of its third-generation Sprinter commercial van with new photos of the van’s interior, which features a large Mercedes Pro touchscreen on the center console. The company says the all-new Sprinter joins the Internet of Things for the first time with the central, intelligent infotainment system and new telematics designed to make it easier for fleet operators to communicate with drivers and manage fleets.
The new Sprinter features Mercedes-Benz’s adVANce future initiative, including new connectivity and telematics solutions, plus creature comforts including USB ports and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Mercedes Pro digital communications module allows fleet managers to monitor vehicle status and logistics, fleet communications, maintenance management, accident recovery, traffic navigation and a digital vehicle log via the web. For example, drivers can be informed about job changes and rerouted while on the road, and fleet managers can monitor a vehicle’s fuel levels or maintenance records in real time.
We showed you a photo of the new Sprinter back in September that looked a lot like its Vision Van concept from 2016, minus the rooftop drones. Though Mercedes hasn’t yet revealed any details about the body size or powertrain specs, it says the new Sprinter will feature highly customizable cargo solutions and body variants that go beyond different bodies, wheelbases and load heights. A full reveal of the van is set for February, while production begins in spring 2018.
Mercedes says it plans to release electrified version of all its commercial vans in the coming years, including an electric-powered version dubbed the eSprinter in 2019 and the eVito, which is now available for ordering, with availability in the second half of 2018. The company plans to launch a fleet of 1,500 electric-powered vans with logistics company Hermes as part of a pilot project delivering parcels in Hamburg and Stuttgart early next year.