Check out the future of public transportation. At least the future according to Daimler. It’s not just a semi-autonomous bus. It’s a semi-autonomous Mercedes-Benz bus.
The Future Bus is Daimler’s vision for the future. Of course, the first thing that grabs you is the Mercedes-Benz design influence. The self-driving people hauler brings Mercedes luxurious style to the world of public transportation.
It resembles the type of other city buses built by Mercedes for use in Europe and Asia. This one has tree inspired hand grips and a canopy-styled roof. Inside, commuters can wirelessly charge their smartphones and recline in Ikea-like seating pods,.
The Future Bus uses technology called CityPilot to do the driving, but a bus driver still must be present behind the wheel, too. On the bus, CityPilot has been adapted to recognize and communicate with traffic lights. It also uses cameras, GPS, radars and other sensors like you find on semi-autonomous cars. CityPilot is actually a more advanced version of Highway Pilot that Mercedes demonstrated a couple of years ago for trucks. The difference, of course, is that CityPilot focuses on self-driving in urban areas. It’s designed to interact with more difficult environments that involve traffic lights, people, and other obstacles.
Mercedes put the bus through a test run in the Netherlands. It ran the bus along part of the longest Bus Rapid Transit in Europe. The total route was about 12-miles and it was full of tunnels, curves, and traffic lights. The bus aced the test.
Mercedes wants to start building these things in the next decade. For more on the Future Bus check out the videos below.