Bosch and Daimler have signed an MoU with the city of San Jose in California to launch trials of a self-driving ride-hailing service. The trials, set to begin from the second half of 2019, are said to be based on automation level 4/5.
The on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services will demonstrate how mobility services such as car sharing (car2go), ride-hailing (mytaxi), and multi-modal platforms (moovel) can be intelligently connected.
According to Bosch, the test operation will provide information about how fully automated vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transportation network. Their intent is to provide a seamless digital experience, in which, a selected user community will have the opportunity to hail a self-driving car, monitored by a safety driver, from a designated pick-up location and drive automatically to their destination.
Bosch and Daimler aim to improve the flow of traffic in cities, enhance road safety and provide an important building block for the way traffic will work in the future. This technology is also meant to boost the popularity of car sharing services, allowing people to make the best possible use of the time they spend in their vehicles and to open up new mobility opportunities for people without a driver’s license.
Sam Liccardo, mayor of San Jose said, “The pilot project is an opportunity to explore how autonomous vehicles can help us better meet future transportation needs.”
Dr Michael Hafner, vice-president, Drive Technologies and Automated Driving at Daimler said, “Since many years we consequently pushed autonomous driving. With this pilot we will generate valuable insights to connect fully automated vehicles in the best way with users of future mobility services.”
Dr Stephan Honle, senior vice-president of the automated driving business unit at Robert Bosch GmbH, said: “We have to rethink urban transportation. Automated driving will help us complete the picture of future urban traffic.”
The two companies’ associates are jointly developing the concepts and algorithms for the fully automated drive system. While Daimler’s task is to bring the drive system into the car, Bosch is providing the necessary development vehicles, test facilities, and vehicles for the test fleet. Bosch is also responsible for the components specified during the development work, such as sensors, actuators, and control units.
For test purposes, Bosch and Daimler are using their laboratories and test rigs, plus their respective test sites in Germany. Since obtaining its ‘Autonomous Vehicle Testing’ permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in 2014, Mercedes-Benz has been testing automated vehicles in the Sunnyvale/California region and since 2016, has had similar approval for the greater Stuttgart area in Germany.
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