The bus of the future is here and it is called, indeed, Future Bus. Mercedes-Benz just revealed the first self-driving city coach and took it to the streets of Amsterdam for a test drive. The company envisioned the next step for public transportation in the form of semi-autonomous bus technology. With its advanced driving system CityPilot, the Future Bus is designed to navigate urban environments.
According to Mercedes: “The CityPilot is able to recognize traffic lights, communicate with them, and safely negotiate junctions controlled by them. It can also recognize obstacles, especially pedestrians on the road, and brake autonomously”. Ten cameras and radar systems help the bus to position itself on the road. Even though the autonomous system is capable of driving on its own, due to law regulation, a human driver has to remain in place all the time.
The light bars around the windscreen indicate who is driving the vehicle, white for human, blue for semi-automated. The interior of the bus is divided into three different areas, each designed for the travellers' needs. In the front of the coach the service zone, in the middle part the express zone, for passengers traveling short distances, and for long-distance travelers there is a lounge zone in the back of the bus.
The Future Bus has been defined "a milestone on the way to autonomous driving in urban public transport" and it certainly made a spectacular entrance. Unfortunately Mercedes-Benz has no concrete plans yet for the full production. The test ride was merely a technological demonstration.
Source: Digital Trends