Daimler’s semi-autonomous bus completed its first public test route, covering a bit more than 12 miles between Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and nearby Haarlem. Also it looks like Tron.
Daimler published this video of the test, which they claim was quite a challenge for the bus, given its many turns, tunnels, scheduled stops and traffic lights. Certainly one should not discount the possibility of the bus going berserk and running over any passing Dutch pedestrians or zapping them into the Tron dimension.
Thankfully the bus’ sensors and cameras were enough to keep it safely on the road and out of harm’s way. Also of interest is that Daimler claims their Tron bus can talk with traffic lights themselves, communicating when the bus should stop. It’s an early step in what’s called V2I, or vehicle to infrastructure tech. Mercedes is only now starting to put V2V (vehicle to vehicle) tech into their road cars with the new E-Class.
It’s heartening to see these very efficient technologies out in use, when they were not very long ago only discussed in conferences and research facilities. All of this was presumably made possible thanks to Daimler’s partnership with the relevant civil authorities, the province of North Holland and the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, as Dutch transportation publication OV Magazin reports.
Strip away all of the fancy lighting and built-in phone chargers, though, and you still have an interesting tech piece here. Basically you’re looking at a progression of Daimler’s semi-autonomous tech that the started showing off two years ago in their commercial trucks, as Engadget points out.
The more we see of this stuff, the better.