Daimler’s self-driving bus


Mercedes-Benz Future Bus The driver can regain full control of the vehicle or intervene at any time Mercedes-Benz Future Bus
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus The bus has charging stations in the ‘lounge’ section for passengers on long trips Mercedes-Benz Future Bus
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus The Future Bus undertook a trip through a section of a BRT line Mercedes-Benz Future Bus
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus The futuristic design suits the bus' name Mercedes-Benz Future Bus

Renowned supplier for Australia sets Benz smart bus loose in Amsterdam

 

One of Australia’s biggest suppliers, Daimler AG, has trialled a semi-autonomous Mercedes-Benz bus on a 20km drive through Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The aptly named Future Bus successfully undertook a manned trip through a section of a bus rapid transit (BRT) line at speeds of up to 70km/h using the CityPilot automation system.

The driver didn’t control the bus directly, but was on board to monitor the systems and ensure everything was running efficiently for passengers.

Daimler plans to continue using BRT lines to put the CityPilot system into use, although the driver can regain full control of the vehicle or intervene at any time.

The bus detects whether the upcoming route is suitable for CityPilot to control the bus, then the driver is able to activate the system and monitor it accordingly.

If the driver uses the accelerator, brakes or begins steering, control of the vehicle is reverted back to manual.

Dr Wolfgang Bernhard of the Daimler AG board of management says the system which the Future Bus runs on will make bus travel more effective.

"With our Highway Pilot, we showed nearly two years ago that autonomous driving will make long-distance truck transport safer and more efficient," Bernhard says.

"We are now putting this technology into our city buses with CityPilot."

While in CityPilot mode, the bus senses traffic lights and surroundings to follow traffic rules and communicates via Wi-Fi with the traffic infrastructure system to confirm the route is efficient.

The bus is equipped with charging stations in the ‘lounge’ section for passengers on long trips, while an ‘express’ section has more standing room and is designed to keep passengers moving while on short trips.

Daimler Buses head Hartmut Schick says €200 million will be invested into the city bus portfolio.

"The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot once again demonstrates our leading role in the bus business," Schick says.

"The advantages of CityPilot for our customers are clear, our Future Bus operates fuel efficiently and with minimal stress on the engine.

"That has a positive impact on operating and maintenance costs, vehicle lifetime and availability."

Daimler says BRT lines – of which there are an estimated 180 worldwide – are the ideal way to introduce buses like the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus.

 

 

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