autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

Mercedes-Benz Future Bus Drives 20 Autonomous Kilometers in Amsterdam

More than one year ago, Mercedes-Benz introduced the Highway Pilot, an autonomous driving feature for trucks that was supposed to make long distance hauling both safer and more economical. Now, the company has adapted the system for use on buses inside the city, calling it CityPilot.
Mercedes-Benz Future Bus 52 photos
Mercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future BusMercedes-Benz Future Bus
Daimler went live on Facebook earlier this morning to showcase the performance of CityPilot during a 20 kilometer run in Amsterdam, the capital city of Holland. Described as a semi-autonomous function, the CityPilot can work unaided on specially marked bus lanes, even though a bus driver must be at the wheel at all times.

It was a double-event for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz as the vehicle on which the CityPilot made its debut was also a special one. Called the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus, the concept vehicle more than lives up to its name borrowing some design cues from recent passenger concept cars and mixing them together with architectural elements and innovative ideas. The result? "A symbiosis of form and function," says Mercedes, but since we haven't ridden in it yet, we can only vouch for the former.

The most striking features of the exterior of the bus are its bone-like shape, the two double central doors, and the two lit-up stripes just under the windshield. Described by the designers as "paddles" due to their shape, they serve more than just an aesthetic function, lighting up in different colors depending on the vehicle's current operational mode (white for normal, blue for autonomous).

The interior is designed to maximize passenger flow, as well as their well-being. By today's standards, it could be described as a waste of space, but let's not forget this is a concept, so anything goes. The number of seats is probably half of those in a regular Citaro bus, but the individual quality is doubled. The grab rails have a tree-like aspect with the lighting sources acting as the leaves. Additional light is coming from the ceiling, imitating a natural light source.

The driver's cockpit reflects the reduced role he has to play in controlling the vehicle, and so the displays in front of him focus more on the route and less on the vehicle itself. With the introduction of CityPilot, Mercedes-Benz is looking to make the first steps toward a full automatization of public bus transport. For now, the system has been tested on a 20 km section of the longest bus rapid transit (BRT) line in Europe, and this looks like the most suitable implementation of this technology at the moment, with the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus looking like the most suitable vehicle to do it.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories