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Mercedes bus concept shows off potential autonomous future

Mercedes is showing off an autonomous bus which might make friendly (and rude) bus drivers around the world slightly nervous. Called, aptly enough, the Future Bus, it uses technology developed from its autonomous truck concepts to point the way forward for public transport.

Mercedes-Benz Future Bus-driving

It uses a system derived from the Highway Pilot of Actros-truck-based prototypes, called City Pilot. It utilises 10 cameras, long and short distance radar and navigation data to recognise traffic lights and pedestrians.

It can detect objects up to 200 metres ahead, and stop automatically if a hazard is detected with “centimetric precision”. The bus can recognise challenging road environments as well, such as tunnels and intersections and uses its autonomous brain to calculate the most efficient, least time-consuming route on what the brand calls Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes.

Mercedes-Benz Future Bus-interior

Legislation dictates the driver still has to sit behind the wheel at this stage but the bus has been tested on Amsterdam’s 20km rapid transit airport route. Tests on home soil begin in Stuttgart, now the government has given the green light.

Check out our Top 10 Visions of Trucking Future for more hyper-futurism, bus and truck style.

Mitchell is a contributing journalist and features writer at PerformanceDrive. He has been a passionate petrol-head from a very young age. He is excited by the future of the industry, and considers himself as a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the technical aspects of cars. He is also fascinated by new cars that are popping up in developing markets.