Mercedes-Benz and Bosch start autonomous taxi service pilot in US

Mercedes-Benz and Bosch are starting a pilot in the city of San José in which an autonomously driving S-class car from the German manufacturer will drive between two points. The companies hope that this project will provide more insights for the development of self-driving driving systems.

The cars will commute between the west of the city and the center, with a security driver always present. Bosch reports that for the time being the service is only available to a select group of users, who have to use an app developed by Daimler for this. According to the companies, the experiences that Bosch and Mercedes gain with this should lead to more knowledge about and insight into the further development of autonomous driving systems that use a level 4 or level 5 autonomy.

According to the Automotive News Europe website, it concerns about thirty copies of the self-driving Mercedes Benz S-class cars, which would be equipped with, among other things, a lidar with a long range. Based on the images, the cars on the roof seem to have at least two lidars. They are assisted by radar, video cameras and ultrasonic sensors. In this collaboration, Bosch will in any case supply the sensors, the management, steering and braking systems and the entire automotive subsystems.

In Stuttgart, Germany, the two companies have already tested level 4 cars; the pilot in San José is the first time that people who are not employees also ride in the cars. Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, indicated earlier this year that it wants to have about ten thousand autonomously driving cars ready for taxi purposes by 2021.