Mercedes Autonomous Bus Drives More Than 12 Miles In Amsterdam

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Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled its new “Future Bus with CityPilot” — an upgrade of the company’s Highway Pilot technology — which allows buses to autonomously drive more than 12 miles in a congested urban environment, according to recent reports.

The technology was demonstrated recently on a bus-rapid-transit (BRT) route from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to a town called Haarlem, in the Netherlands — a 12-mile route filled with traffic lights, bendy roads, tunnels, etc. During the demonstration, the Mercedes bus only needed the driver to take control when there was oncoming traffic (required by local laws).

The CityPilot technology utilizes a mix of cameras, radar, and connected data, in order to pilot a bus autonomously — allowing for navigation through busy areas with lots of people, traffic lights, and uncommon obstacles. The technology also allows for the bus to autonomously open and close its doors, to brake in case of emergency, and to travel up to 43.5 miles per hour.

According to a spokesperson for the company, the bus and route is simply a technological demonstration — there are currently no plans for a near-term rollout of the technology. Though, production is no issue, reportedly. The Future Bus will be presented at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany in September.

The rep was quoted as saying: “These features of the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus will be tested, optimized, and brought to series readiness throughout the next years in order to introduce them in our series vehicles in the near future.”

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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