Safer, ef­fi­cient and pro­duc­tive city bus

Mercedes-Benz an­nounces new au­tonomous Fu­ture Bus with Ci­tyPilot

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

MERCEDES-Benz has an­nounced the pi­lots of its first au­tonomous buses that can be steered with the Ci­tyPilot sys­tem.

Dr Wolf­gang Bern­hard, mem­ber of the board of man­age­ment of Daim­ler AG for Daim­ler Trucks & Buses, said: “With our High­way Pi­lot, we showed nearly two years ago that au­tonomous driv­ing will make long-dis­tance truck trans­port safer and more ef­fi­cient. We are now putting this tech­nol­ogy into our city buses with Ci­tyPilot.

“The sys­tem is a fur­ther devel­op­ment of High­way Pi­lot, es­pe­cially for big ci­ties. It al­lows us to drive par­tially au­tonomously on spe­cially marked bus lanes. This makes pub­lic trans­port safer, more ef­fi­cient and more pro­duc­tive.”

Hart­mut Schick, head of Daim­ler Buses, said: “In ad­di­tion to our strong prod­uct range, it’s above all our tech­no­log­i­cal com­pe­tence and in­no­va­tive strength that make Daim­ler buses so suc­cess­ful world­wide.

“The Mercedes-Benz Fu­ture Bus with Ci­tyPilot once again demon­strates our lead­ing role in the bus busi­ness. We will claim this po­si­tion also in the fu­ture. That’s why we are in­vest­ing ap­prox­i­mately €200 mil­lion (R3,1 bil­lion) in the fur­ther devel­op­ment of our city-bus port­fo­lio.

“The ad­van­tages of Ci­tyPilot for our cus­tomers are clear: our Fu­ture Bus op­er­ates fuel ef­fi­ciently and with min­i­mal stress on the en­gine. That has a pos­i­tive im­pact on oper­at­ing and main­te­nance costs, ve­hi­cle life­time and avail­abil­ity.”

The Mercedes-Benz Fu­ture Bus is much more than just a tech­nol­ogy car­rier for au­tonomous driv­ing. For this city bus, the Daim­ler buses team has de­vel­oped a spe­cific, at­trac­tive vi­sion for pub­lic trans­port that breaks with many con­ven­tions.

The roughly 12-me­tre long solo bus on the ba­sis of the global best­seller Ci­taro goes com­pletely new ways in terms of de­sign. For ex­am­ple, it ap­peals with an asym­met­ri­cal and thus more mod­ern and at­trac­tive ex­te­rior de­sign.

The in­te­rior is open and light with the low-floor di­vided into three ar­eas: the “ser­vice” area is at the front near the driver; the “ex­press” area for short jour­neys with a fo­cus on stand­ing room; and quick pas­sen­ger flow is in the mid­dle.

Be­hind that is a “lounge” area where pas­sen­gers spend more time. Their smart­phones can be charged wire­lessly, in­duc­tively that is.

The com­pletely re­designed cock­pit is an in­te­grated part of the whole space. The driver re­ceives the re­quired in­for­ma­tion on a large dis­play and an elec­tronic ticket sys­tem dis­penses with the con­ven­tional sell­ing and check­ing of tick­ets by the driver. The ticket sys­tem is an im­por­tant el­e­ment of the bus’s con­nec­tiv­ity.

— Wit­ness Re­porter..

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

The lounge area of the new au­tonomous Mercedes-Benz bus.

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