TECHNOLOGY: Mercedes launches ‘Future Bus’. [Photos]

Mercedes-Benz wants to bring autonomous transportation to the masses.

Last year, the company’s semi-autonomous bus, called the Future Bus, drove a little more than 12 miles from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to Haarlem, a city just outside Amsterdam. The bus’s journey was especially impressive because the route included traffic lights, tunnels, and required the bus to navigate around people.

Mercedes is betting self-driving buses like its Future Bus will grow in demand as urban populations continue to increase and more public transportation is needed.

“We are living in an increasingly urban world. Cities are home to more than 50% of the world’s population. And the number keep increasing rapidly,” said Wolfgang Bernhard, the CEO of Daimler Trucks and Buses, last July when the bus made its first journey around Amsterdam.

“If more and more people eat, sleep, and work in cities, a number of big challenges emerge. One major challenge is to move all of these people and to move them fast, safely, and comfortably. This means we need attractive, public transportation.”

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