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Daimler's new bus tech will automatically brake for pedestrians

It's the first bus in the world to do so.

Considering that pedestrians basically surround buses all day, it's a bit surprising that pedestrian detection wasn't yet built into this type of public transportation. But thanks to Daimler Buses, that's about to change.

Starting in the spring of 2018, Daimler Buses will offer Active Brake Assist 4 (ABA 4) for its Mercedes-Benz and Setra buses. It's the world's first system built for buses that incorporates both autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

More buses need to sport this bright green paint job.


Buses equipped with ABA 4 will come with both long- and short-range radar systems. The long-range unit can pick up vehicles and obstacles as far away as 250 meters, bicycles up to 160 meters and pedestrians up to 80 meters. The short-range radar works at 70 meters and under, and can even recognize pedestrians off to the side of the bus' nose. It's similar to the safety systems found in modern Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

Since the system can pick items out very far away, it will first alert the driver with visual and audio warnings. This gives the driver time to honk the horn or steer out of the way. If that doesn't happen, the system is capable of engaging partial braking on its own.

For the bus enthusiasts among us, ABA 4's 2018 debut will take place on the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, the Setra ComfortClass 500 and the Setra TopClass 500. Buyers who pick the adaptive cruise control option will receive ABA 4 free of charge, since the cruise control adds the radar required for ABA 4 functionality.