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Mercedes-Benz completes 19km autonomous bus journey using IoT

Weltpremiere: Mercedes-Benz Future Bus mit CityPilot – Meilenstein auf dem Weg zum autonom fahrenden Stadtbus

Mercedes-Benz claims to have successfully demonstrated an IoT-enabled autonomous bus in Amsterdam, while Android Auto has taken its number of automotive customers to 50.

Using an IoT network to connect with its surroundings, the Mercedes FutureBus allegedly completed a 19 kilometre journey from Haarlem in Amsterdam to the international Schiphol airport, involving multiple passenger stops, traffic lights, traffic systems and tunnels.

Mercedes says its IoT system for the connection, CityPilot, is based on IoT technology, whereby it runs on the same network as local city road infrastructure, effectively allowing it to connect the vehicle to a network of traffic lights. If the wireless connection to the traffic light is interrupted, the bus uses visual recognition. Mercedes says this connectivity gives its bus the capability of autonomously navigating junctions, while a series of cameras embedded into the chassis of the bus allow it to monitor its surroundings in case of obstacles, other vehicles and pedestrians or children stepping out into the road.

Inside the Future Bus, Mercedes has built in wireless connectivity and USB ports for user devices on long-distance journeys. Wifi is provided on each vehicle via LTE-enabled routers with embedded SIMs, which also acts as a relay for locally hosted entertainment content, such as movies or films. Data transfer rates are automatically allocated based on the maximum number of users for each journey.

Mercedes’ announcement suggests further development on the road to autonomous vehicles and connected cars, which 12% of Telecoms.com said would be the most lucrative IoT service for operators, in the 2016 IoT Outlook.

Elsewhere, Android’s in-car infotainment platform “Android Auto” has been picked up by luxury car brand Koenigsegg, according to Android Central. Android says, among other features, Android Auto automatically delivers useful information, reminders, traffic updates and route plans, and organises them all into prompts at relevant points along the journey. With the addition of Koenigsegg to its portfolio, Android Auto is now signed up to 50 car makers and in-car electronics brands, with launches already live for brands like Audi, Volkswagen, Vauxhall , Mercedes and Chevrolet.

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