Mercedes-Benz has given a demo of its Future Bus with CityPilot of what the future of public transport may look like. The CityPilot component is a technology platform that is layered on to the vehicle, affording it automated lane-keeping, longitudinal guidance, acceleration and braking functionalities. The Future Bus itself is based on the firm’s 12-m long Citaro bus model and is powered by a 220-kW Mercedes-Benz OM 936 in-line six-cylinder engine.
There are three different zones that accommodate passengers based on how long they will be on the bus. The bus itself will not accommodate all that many passengers, as the company has chosen an open and airy layout over one that maximizes seating space. Green luminescent bands indicate which set of doors should be used when entering or leaving. An electronic ticket system is employed to speed up passenger flow.
The top speed is 70 km/h and the driver doesn’t need to accelerate, brake or steer. He needs only control the bus to the extent that traffic regulations. The bus is able to recognize traffic lights and used them to safely negotiate junctions, recognize obstacles – including pedestrians – brake autonomously as required, and to stop and open its doors at bus stops automatically.
The system has 10 cameras to scan the road and surroundings, a 4 short-range radar sensors monitoring up to 10 m ahead of the bus and two stereo cameras with a range of up to 50 m to provide 3D vision and obstacle recognition. An additional two cameras look downwards to scan the road surface and three others record aspects of the journey inside a bus.
The video below provides a look at the Future Bus with CityPilot.