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Mercedes Benzs semi autonomous bus the Future Bus

Mercedes Benz’s semi-autonomous bus - the Future Bus

Last year, Mercedes Benz’s semi-autonomous bus, called the Future Bus, drove more than 12 miles from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to a city just outside Amsterdam. The journey was quite impressive as the route included traffic lights, tunnels and the bus even had to navigate around people.

Following the successful pilot, Mercedes is hoping that buses like its Future Bus will grow in demand as urban populations continue to increase, seeing more of a need for public transportation.

The Future Bus is programmed to navigate into a bus stop with less than 10 cm between the bus and the curb, making it easier for passengers to hop on and off. To perform such tasks, the bus employs camera systems, sensors and GPS.

Presently, the Future Bus has a top speed of 43 miles per hour and is programmed to only operate in bus lanes as these lanes tend to be easier to navigate because traffic is less complicated.

Mercedes claim that the Future Bus is more fuel efficient than a normal bus operated by a human as the system employed in the bus brakes, accelerates and shift's gears in order to optimise efficiency. However, is must be noted that the bus is not completely autonomous. A human driver is still needed to monitor the vehicle’s surroundings and are able to overrule the system at any time if needed.

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