September 7, 2016 / 11:10 AM / 3 years ago

Daimler explores to use drones in new van business model

A Daimler sign name is pictured during the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart, Germany, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File photo

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Daimler is spending about 500 million euros ($562 million) over the next five years on developing new business models for its vans segment, including last mile delivery services by drone.

The vans division is looking for new business models beyond manufacturing and selling vans, Volker Mornhinweg, Chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Vans said at a press conference in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

“We are moving beyond a business model based on the idea of ownership and are looking at a pay-as-you use systems, which include short-term rental of vans by the hour,” Mornhinweg said.

Mercedes-Benz Vans is looking for new business opportunities to make the last mile delivery of goods more efficient, a system which includes the use of drones.

Mercedes said it will explore the use of drones and delivery robots in pilot projects, and has not yet set a date for market release.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based company is however confident that drones will be part of the product offering for vans clients going forward.

“It is definitely coming,” Vornhinweg said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Arno Schuetze

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