The automaker has invested in drone logistics developer Matternet, and the two have worked together on a Vision Van concept (above) that would make delivery drones more practical. The electric vehicle amounts to a last-mile launching pad: drones can grab packages from its "fully automated" cargo space and fly a relatively short distance to complete deliveries that would be impractical (or just slow) for a human courier. And when it would connect everyone from the distribution center to recipients, it would manage deliveries that aren't usually feasible today -- same-day delivery at a specific time, for instance, rather than making a best effort. You're probably not going to see this van roving around your neighborhood any time soon. Mercedes hasn't said anything about translating it to a production vehicle, which isn't surprising when delivery drone regulation is still nebulous at best.
Where texts may not say what is true. It was Alton Brown's fault. A couple of Saturdays ago, the famed food show presenter and general apogee of erudition, was not in a good mood. I know this because he tweeted: "I love how @fedex can send you a notice saying they attempted delivery at the exact time you were actually standing at the door waiting for the delivery." I felt at one with Brown's plight because, at that very moment, the same thing was happening to me.