New Self-Driving Bus in Amsterdam Makes the MTA’s Transit Plan Look Dated

July 19, 2016

While New York City is patting itself on the back for pushing through a subway design that offers eight more inches of door space and an open-gangway format, over in the Netherlands, folks are celebrating the Future Bus, a self-driving bus created by Mercedes-Benz. Per The Verge, the Future Bus has just completed a 20 kilometer (roughly 12.5 miles) drive that took it from Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport to the town of Haarlem (fun side note: Harlem the nabe takes its name from this municipality) along a route that included a number of tight bends, tunnels, and traffic lights.

Mercedes-Benz Future Bus Self-Driving Bus


Mercedes-Benz Future Bus Self-Driving Bus

The bus runs on technology called CityPilot, which was originally developed for Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving Actros truck two years ago. The system was in turn tweaked to suit the Future Bus and uses cameras and long- and short-rage radars that can read the streetscape, detecting whether it needs to yield for pedestrians or if it’s approaching a bus stop, for example. The bus also boasts a top speed of just 43 mph and communicates directly with the city’s infrastructure network to determine when traffic lights will change. Additionally, passengers enjoy wireless charging surfaces in addition to comfy designer benches. (For comparison: NYC is getting “Ferrari-like” buses)

See a video of the Future Bus in action below. (Note that there is a “driver” behind the wheel, as local law requires one be present in case of an emergency)


Images and video courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

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