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English   Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot
20.07.2016 von admin

Traffic lights and bus stops in an information display

When there is a traffic light, bus stop, vehicle or obstacle ahead, an information graphic appears on the right of the display. This takes the form of an arc. At traffic lights and bus stops, this uses a countdown with coloured segments and figures in seconds to show the expected time before the journey can continue, that the traffic light has been reached or that the lights will change. By looking at a stylised silhouette of the bus, the driver can also monitor the status of the doors, which is important when halting at a bus stop.

Dial instruments with coloured segments on the left side of the display show the fuel and AdBlue levels and the status of the onboard electrical system. A function bar at the top of the display contains the icons for the ready status of all systems, for example the traffic light recognition system with camera and V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure) identification, or the locating system. A second function bar at the bottom of the display informs the driver of e.g. the odometer reading, transmission status and the gear engaged. The control lamps are also located here.

Familiar control buttons moved to the left

The usual control buttons and switches in a conventional city bus are not required when driving semi-autonomously – whether the doors, lighting or windscreen wiper, all are controlled automatically. For this reason the relevant controls have been moved to the left, from the instrument panel to the console below the window sill. This still leaves them readily accessible for manual driving outside enclosed BRT routes.

Thanks to the mirrorcams, the driver no longer has to consult conventional exterior mirrors for a view to the rear. The externally mounted camera systems transfer the image onto large monitors. They are mounted inside, near the A-pillar. Installation at the height familiar from classic mirrors makes it easier for experienced bus drivers to change over to the new technology.

Alternatives to the state-of-the-art diesel engine: gas and electric drive

The drive unit is located on the opposite end of the bus: The
Mercedes-Benz OM 936 in-line six-cylinder engine, probably the world's most modern diesel engine for city buses, is installed on the left in the rear. It develops 220 kW (299 hp), meets the Euro VI emission standard and transfers its power to the driven low-floor portal axle via an automatic torque converter transmission.

This does not have to be the only alternative, however: the new
Mercedes-Benz M 936 G gas engine would also be conceivable. This impresses with even lower emissions than a diesel engine, and even quieter running. But the possibilities by no means end there, as Mercedes-Benz has announced a battery-electric drive system for city buses for 2018. Thanks to the omission of an engine in the rear, this will open up new possibilities for an attractive interior design. But above all, the Mercedes-Benz Future Bus will then not only be semi-automated and extremely safe, but also locally emissions-free and as quiet as a whisper as it powers into the future.

Photos and text:
Daimler AG

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