Imagine hopping into a car, setting the coordinates of your destination, and then sitting back to take a nap or read a book while the car safely transports you across town. Sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, no? Well, prepare yourself, because autonomous, or self-driving, cars are coming, and they will be here much sooner than you might think.
Mercedes has launched an autonomous bus with a view to the future of integrated intelligent transport systems for smart cities.The company unveiled its Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot, which it says is “a milestone on the way to the autonomous city bus, and a revolutionary mobility system for the future”.
- CityPilot: a software platform for autonomous driving in urban public transport
- Mercedes-Benz Future Bus: autonomous vehicle with a “trailblazing” design
Autonomous vehicle technology continues to develop at pace, and it has the potential to bring sweeping changes to our transportation systems. Much of the focus is on the impact this technology will have on passenger vehicles, but the trucking industry will also experience significant change over the coming decades.
In Singapore, meanwhile, convoys of driverless trucks carry freight between terminals at the city’s bustling shipping port, while, in Germany, truck-maker MAN and operator DB Schenker plan to test twotruck platooning with HGV drivers behind the wheel – rather than testers – on the A9 motorway between the company’s Munich and Nuremberg depots by spring 2018. Likewise, Daimler’s driverless 'Future Truck 2025' has already travelled it’s first kilometers on a public highway.