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Added: 29 July 2016
News of autonomous driving break-throughs just keeps on coming – but did you know Mercedes-Benz have already created a driverless bus and driven it through Amsterdam?
The autonomous Mercedes bus comes following a partnership with Daimler, and uses their City Pilot technology. Hailed as the ‘local public transport of the future’, the vehicle in question features a plethora of autonomous equipment, including ten cameras and both long and short range radar systems. These work together with stored data to allow the bus to remain in the correct position on the road and react safely to its surroundings.
It’s not just the driverless tech that’s futuristic, either: the bus is packed with advanced features which Mercedes-Benz say will ‘benefit passengers, the driver and bus operators.’ These include double doors arranged to speed up passenger flows, with green and red illuminations to signal an exit and entrance.
The layout also differs from that of a traditional bus. Daimler explain that the bus’ interior “takes its lead from public spaces such as squares and parks, and has nothing in common with the usual appearance of a city bus”. It’s devided into three zones – ‘service zone’ at the front, an ‘express zone’ in the middle for those travelling short distances and a ‘lounge zone’ at the rear for anyone riding the bus for a longer duration.
Mercedes’ driverless bus has already taken its maiden voyage: it travelled through the city of Amsterdam, negotiating bends, tunnels, junctions and traffic lights all without incident and even reaching a top speed of 70km/hour.