On Monday morning, July 18, Mercedes-Benz revealed its latest creation called the Future Bus, an autonomous driving city bus using the CityPilot technology.
According to Mashable, Mercedes not only unveiled the futuristic vehicle, but also test it on a 12-mile route on the public streets in Amsterdam. The bus uses Mercedes' CityPilot autonomous driving system. CityPilot enables buses to drive semi-autonomously at speeds up to 43 mph, in specially marked bus lanes, in a similar way to the HighwayPilot system that allows Mercedes' semi-trucks to drive efficiently and safely on highways.
According to GeekWire, the Mercedes-Benz city bus completed a test route that showcased how the CityPilot self-driving technology can navigate successfully a complicated urban route. The Future Bus has been tested on a 12-mile (20-km) journey along a route in the Netherlands, between Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and the town of Haarlem.
The test route for Mercedes' Future Bus passes across intersections with traffic lights and through tunnels and included numerous bends. During the test, a driver has been at the wheel, but he never touched it. The Future Bus used the CityPilot system allows it to approach bus stops automatically, open and close its doors, recognize pedestrians and obstacles in the road and break autonomously.
The CityPilot technology is using various sensors such as a GPS system, long and short-range radar systems that constantly monitor the route ahead and cameras to scan the road and surroundings. Mercedes' CityPilot system is based on the technology of the Highway Pilot autonomously driving system used in the Mercedes-Benz Actros truck. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Highway Pilot system two years ago.
Mercedes aims to introduce the HighwayPilot system into production vehicles by 2020. However, the German automaker has no plans to implement the complete Future Bus' CityPilot system into production. The company will implement instead just portions of the system into city buses.