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Mercedes Introduces The Self-Driving ‘Future Bus’ [VIDEO]

REUTERS/Steve Marcus

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Craig Boudreau Vice Reporter

Mercedes-Benz recently introduced a self-driving bus that successfully completed a 12-mile test run in the Netherlands.

The “Future Bus” is fully autonomous and capable of speeds up to 43 miles per hour. A driver is still needed in the car, despite it being fully autonomous.

The bus has 10 cameras to scan surrounding areas, as well as long and short-range radars to detect obstacles, according to an article posted by Gizmag Monday. The bus is able to read traffic lights and automatically pull within two inches of any bus stop.

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“Throughout the journey the driver does not need to operate the accelerator or brake at all, and only needs to take the wheel in accordance with traffic regulations when there is oncoming traffic,” a press release from Mercedes reads. “However, the driver is able to intervene at any time and immediately take control if required.”

An on-board computer compiles data collected in “data fusion,” which allows the bus to operate with detailed knowledge of its surroundings. “Thanks to data fusion, all the data received create an extremely precise picture and allow the bus to be positioned to within centimeters,” the press release stated.

The interior of the bus is an open-plan design modeled after “city squares and parks.” The Future Bus also has three separate zones for riders, depending on the length of travel.

TechCrunch reported the bus made a successful inaugural 12-mile trip through the Netherlands, and was able to recognize traffic lights, drive through tunnels and navigate pedestrian foot traffic.

This technological advancement, however, isn’t without its obvious problems. One of Tesla’s sel-driving vehicles was recently involved in fatal accident while on autopilot.

The Mercedes press release also said that the new bus would cut back on wear and tear as well as lower fuel consumption, but offered no detail on how it will execute those plans.

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