Daimler and Bosch have announced they will launch an autonomous vehicle ride-hailing pilot in San Jose, California in the second half of 2019.
The program will utilize Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles outfitted with Level 4 and level 5 self-driving capabilities and be operated in the San Carlos and Stevens Creek corridor between downtown and west San Jose.
Teams from both Daimler and Bosch are responsible for developing the algorithms that will be used by the fleet of self-driving S-Class limos. Bosch will be responsible for providing hardware including sensors, actuators, and control units. Ultimately, the two companies want to enhance road safety, improve the flow of traffic in cities, and create an important building block for the way traffic will work in the future.
Members of the public will be able to summon rides through a dedicated mobile app from Daimler Mobility Services.
Bosch spokesman Tim Wieland says that the companies have yet to determine how many vehicles will make up the fleet nor their hours of operation.
“The pilot project is an opportunity to explore how autonomous vehicles can help us better meet future transportation needs,” San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo said.
Daimler and Bosch have been working together on autonomous technologies for a number of years and are developing the technology in both Stuttgart and Silicon Valley. In the past, the companies have launched an Automated Valet Parking pilot in Beijing. Additionally, the duo signed an agreement with Nvidia earlier this year for the computing company to supply its artificial intelligence platform, dubbed Drive Pegasus, for future autonomous models.