Mercedes Benz unveil self-driving coach

Mercedes-Benz Future Bus mit CityPilot; teilautomatisiert fahrender Stadtbus mit Ampelerkennung; Hindernis- und Fußgängererkennung; 10 Kameras; automatisierte Haltestellenfahrten; Radarsysteme für Nah- und Fernbereich Basisfahrzeug: Mercedes-Benz Citaro; OM 936 mit 220 kW/299 PS; 7,7 L Hubraum, Länge/Breite/Höhe: 12.135/2.550/3.120 mm ;

Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot; semi-automated city bus with traffic light recognition; recognition of obstacles and pedestrians; automated bus stop approaches basic vehicle: Mercedes-Benz Citaro; OM 936 rated at 220 kW/299 hp; displacement 7.7 l; length/width/height: 12135/2550/3120 mm;

While its rivals are focusing their efforts on autonomous cars, Mercedes-Benz has gone one better and unveiled the Future Bus, a semi-automated passenger coach.

The German carmaker revealed the bus earlier this week, showcasing its intelligent autonomous technology and futuristic design.

Far from just a concept, the Future Bus has already been tested at speeds of up to 43mph on a 12-mile route through Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

During this trial it was found to autonomously pilot itself without incident, negotiating numerous bends and passing through tunnels and junctions with traffic lights.

However, a driver was aboard in case of emergency.

The bus features Daimler's CityPilot technology, which allows it to self-drive.

This system includes 10 cameras and long and short-range radar systems, which allow the bus to find its position on the road, interact with its surroundings and brake accordingly.

The CityPilot technology can also integrate the bus with the city's traffic light systems.

Mercedes-Benz unveils autonomous bus

Mercedes-Benz unveils autonomous bus

Passenger comfort is of the utmost priority on the Future Bus, with three distinct zones for passengers travelling different distances. At the front is located the 'service zone'; in the middle the 'express' short journey zone; and at the back is a 'lounge zone', for commuters travelling on the bus for longest.

The open-plan design includes a host of passenger-friendly features which aim to improve the ride, allowing travellers to 'enjoy a fascinating driving experience'.

Separate lit-up enter (green) and exit (red) doors speed up the passenger loading, and remove the stress from the experience, while two light bars around the windscreen indicate the current driving status of the bus – blue for semi-autonomous and white for manual.