Daimler Unveils Autonomously Driving Mercedes-Benz City Bus of the Future
Daimler Buses, the world’s biggest bus manufacturer, unveiled Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot. The world premiere of its semi-automated city bus took place in the Netherlands where the bus drove on a 20 km long route from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Haarlem for the first time.
A 20 kilometre journey included 11 stops, nearly 25 traffic lights, 3 tunnels and a number of tight bends. The test drive verified that Mercedes-Benz Future Bus equipped with its new technology CityPilot operates more safely and efficiently than conventional buses.
“With our Highway Pilot, we showed nearly two years ago that autonomous driving will make long-distance truck transport safer and more efficient. We are now putting this technology into our city buses with CityPilot. The system is a further development of Highway Pilot, especially for big cities. It allows us to drive partially autonomously on specially marked bus lanes. This makes public transport safer, more efficient and more productive. More people can travel from A to B quickly, punctually and in comfort. To the benefit of all: bus operators, bus drivers and passengers,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG for Daimler Trucks & Buses.
CityPilot – another milestone on Daimler Buses’ way to autonomous driving
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus’ technology CityPilot enhances safety, efficiency and comfort of the bus. According to Daimler, the technology is able to recognize traffic lights and communicate with them via Wi Fi, receiving information on traffic lights status. It recognizes obstacles, including pedestrians, on the road, and brakes autonomously. Although throughout the journey driver doesn’t need to press accelerator, brake pedal or steer, the driver is able to intervene at any time and take control over driving where it is required. Besides this, the system recognizes where the route is suitable for automated driving and informs the driver accordingly. The CityPilot technology ensures precise positioning of the bus when halting at bus stops. Technology also includes long- and short-range radar systems that constantly monitor the route ahead, GPS system, cameras that scan the road, surroundings and record movements of the bus and actions of the driver.
The bus is allowed to accelerate the speed up to 70 km/h. It arrives at the bus stop in automated mode and opens and closes its doors automatically. The system’s early recognition of each traffic light status allows predictive and consistent driving style, which makes Future Bus a more fuel efficient vehicle. “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,” said Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses.
Futuristic design that breaks with conventions
According to Daimler, a 12 metre long Mercedes-Benz Future Bus’ both the exterior and interior designs take their lead from city architecture. “Its design intentionally breaks with conventions, and is based on new approaches,” says Daimler.
Cockpit is part of the interior, and even manages without a partition and separating door.
by Natalie Myhalnytska
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