- Mercedes-Benz Future Bus: spectacular technology platform
- 20 km journey without steering, accelerating and without brake pedal
Even safer, more efficient and more comfortable: the semi-automated Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot shows what local transport services of the future will look like. Connectivity, camera and radar systems, as well as the use of data fusion catapult city buses into the future. Mercedes-Benz is showing the spectacular technology in an equally spectacular technological show-piece: the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot. Both of these represent a milestone not only in terms of the history of the bus, but also on the road to autonomous and accident-free driving.
The technology behind CityPilot in the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus is based on the self-driving Mercedes-Benz Actros with Highway Pilot, which was unveiled two years ago at the IAA. Due to its specific application in a city bus, the technology was further developed in a targeted manner, seeing the addition of numerous additional functions. Accordingly, CityPilot can recognise traffic lights, communicate with them and drive safely over junctions equipped with traffic lights. It can also detect obstacles and, above all, pedestrians on the road, automatically braking in response to them. Furthermore, it automatically drives up to bus stops, where the doors are opened and closed automatically. And last but not least, it is also capable of driving through tunnels.
Around a dozen cameras scan the roadway and surrounding area. Long- and short-range radar systems continuously scan the road ahead. The system also draws upon a GPS system. All data is collated and, by means of data fusion, provides an extremely precise picture and thus makes it possible to position the bus precisely down to the last centimetre.
The semi-automated city bus increases safety by taking the pressure off the driver, while its cameras and radar systems keep everything perfectly in view. It improves efficiency because its smooth and anticipatory driving style protects the major assemblies, reduces fuel consumption and thus simultaneously also the emissions. Meanwhile, the smooth, steady journey also increases the comfort for passengers on-board.
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus: spectacular technology platform
The CityPilot is presented in the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus as a technology platform. The around 12 m long solo bus based on the globally best-selling Citaro is a completely new departure in terms of exterior and interior design. Its harmonious lines and asymmetrical contours take their lead from city architecture. Whether with its design, lighting, door layout or information systems – the unique Mercedes-Benz Future Bus fully lives up to its name.
The same applies to the interior, the open-plan design of which takes its lead from city squares and parks. The passenger compartment is truly a passenger's dream. It is divided into three zones for different lengths of stay. Designer seats are loosely arranged along the walls in each zone. Innovative grab rails reflect the park-like theme by branching upwards like trees towards the two-tone ceiling. The ceiling lighting resembles a leaf canopy. Operators are able to relay information and entertainment via large monitors in the middle segment of the passenger compartment. The completely newly designed cockpit is an integral part of the interior space. The driver receives the information he/she requires from a large screen with an innovative display.
20 km journey without steering, accelerating and without brake pedal
The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot completed its first public journey in July in the Netherlands. It drove on a section of Europe’s longest Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route which links Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and the town of Haarlem. This almost 20 km route posed quite a challenge for the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus as it included a number of bends, tunnels and traffic-light-controlled junctions.
The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot met the challenges superbly: it had a top speed of 70 km/h on the open road, was able to recognise obstacles and pedestrians on the road, came to a precise halt at bus stops, opened and closed its doors, moved off automatically and communicated with traffic light systems. At no point along the entire route did the driver need to accelerate or brake, and only in the case of opposing traffic was the steering wheel held in accordance with the road traffic regulations. What's more, the driver could intervene at any point and instantly take back control of the vehicle if required.
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot – the future of the city bus is here. This pioneering bus is ideal for BRT systems, which help towards solving traffic problems in densely populated areas and metropolitan regions all over the world. It operates highly efficient, significantly improves the level of safety and takes the pressure off the driver. Daimler Buses is developing the bus transport system of tomorrow.
About Daimler Buses
The Daimler Buses division with its brands Mercedes‑Benz and Setra is the undisputed industry leader in its core markets in the segment for buses above 8 metric tons. The division’s product range comprises city and intercity buses, coaches and bus chassis.