A Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot has driven autonomously for the first time on a route of approximately 20 kilometres in Amsterdam.
On a section of the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) line in Europe, the bus drives at speeds up to 70 km/h, stops to the nearest centimetres at bus stops and traffic lights, drives off again automatically, passes through tunnels, brakes for obstacles or pedestrians and communicates with traffic signals.
The driver is on board and monitors the system, but with a much easier task than before. Daimler Buses is the world’s first manufacturer to put a city bus into automated operation in a real-life traffic situation.
Technology enhanced safety & efficiency
The first step towards fully automated driving with buses in urban traffic consists of BRT lines with separate lanes. The Future Bus recognises whether the route is suitable for automated driving and informs the driver accordingly. The bus driver then presses a button and CityPilot is activated. One condition is that the driver does not press the accelerator or brake pedal and does not steer, because any driver activity overrules CityPilot – the driver is always in charge of driving and can take over at any time.
CityPilot comprises current assistance systems, those used in Mercedes-Benz coaches for example, as well as additional systems, some of which have been taken over from Daimler Trucks and further developed for urban traffic. The equipment includes long- and short-range radar, a large number of cameras and the satellite-controlled GPS navigation system. The intelligent connectivity of the cameras and sensors is pioneering, and allows a precise picture of the surroundings and the exact position of the bus.
On the road in the Future Bus
Take Amsterdam as an example: signals from special traffic lights ahead…
READ THE COMPLETE STORY on page 30 of the Tourism Tattler September 2016 magazine HERE, or download the page/s in PDF format – click onto the image below.