It may not be good news for bus drivers, but Daimler Buses believes the future of the bus industry, in part, is driver-less.
The end result is a Mercedes-Benz bus (dubbed Future Bus) that is now driving autonomously on a route of approximately 20 kilometres.
Using what Daimler calls its CityPilot automation system, the bus drives at speeds up to 70 km/h, stops to the nearest centimetre at bus stops, brakes for obstacles or pedestrians and communicates with traffic signals.
While a driver is still on board at the moment monitoring the system, head of Daimler Truck and Bus Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, says so far the system has operated flawlessly.
“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.”