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self-driving bus
The Mercedes-Benz self-driving bus

Meet Self-driving Mercedes Benz Bus That Traveled 12 Mile Trip

City Pilot has taken a key early step towards fully autonomous public transportation:[9] The Mercedes-Benz self-driving bus program saw one of its Future Bus vehicles drive 20 km (or around 12.4 miles) in the Netherlands, [6]on a route that connected Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport with the nearby town of Haarlem.

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To make the trip, the bus had to stop at traffic lights, pass through tunnels, and navigate among pedestrians.

This is a big win for the program,[4] which owes its origins to the transport truck-focused Highway Pilot program debuted by Mercedes two years ago.[7] That autonomous vehicle program didn’t face the added challenges of navigating an urban environment, however, which makes the Future Bus successful test run a significant achievement.[10]

inside the bus

Future Bus isn’t just a brainy piece of utilitarian tech,[9] however. Mercedes has focused on making sure that it’s well-suited to the city of the future, and accordingly put a lot of time into designing the vehicle’s interior. [2]According to the company’s official press site, the busses have three separate zones designed based on how long of a trip a passenger is sign to be on board for, and there are displays for showing entertainment and other media, [5]as well as a ceiling designed to resemble a forested canopy.

One of the key ingredients of the CityPilot program is integration with city infrastructure along its route of travel: [12]The Future Bus I fully networked,[1] meaning it can communicate with traffic lights along the route for cues on changing lights. An onboard close-range camera array also manages “fingerprint”-level recognition of asphalt detail, [8]comparing it against previous trips to watch out for variances and keep things on track.[4]

The autonomous functions of the vehicle manage speeds of up to 70km/h (around 43mph) and also takes care of navigating to raised bus stops along the route,[9] slowing down and stopping to pick passengers up, pulling to within 2 inches from the curb.[15]

Short-range autonomous buses are already getting deployed,[6] mostly in controlled privately-owned settings around the world, but what this Mercedes pilot shows is a successful real-world test of what could be a core component of future pubic transportation systems.[3]

Source: Techcrunch

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Posted by LUKWAGO. J: He's a writer, editor, blogger, affiliate and a web developer, he loves thinking creatively and finding new ways to implement different programming ideas.

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