Daimler, Bosch launch pilot project for automated ride sharing service in San José

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

As part of the project, automated Mercedes S-Class sedans will be commuting between West San José and the city center. The two partners expect the project to provide further insights into automated driving technologies,

Monitored by an on-board security driver, the self-steering cars drive back and forth on a fixed route along San José’s main thoroughfare, San Carlos Street/Stevens Creek Boulevard,. With an app developed by Daimler Mobility AG, users can book the vehicles, board them at a defined pick-up location and be driven to their destination. The test operation will also provide Mercedes-Benz and Bosch with further valuable insights for the development of their automated driving system according to SAE Level 4/5. The partners also expect to find out how self-driving cars can be integrated into an intermodal mobility system with, for example, local public transport and car sharing.

In mid-2017, San José invited private companies to test automated driving in practice and to analyze the increasing challenges in road traffic. Especially in dense urban traffic, self-steering cars with their permanent 360-degree environment monitoring can potentially increase safety and improve the flow of traffic through a smooth driving style, the developers hope.

“We want to learn more about how automated vehicles can help the city make its traffic flows smoother and safer, make mobility more integrated, and increase its availability and sustainability. The Bosch and Mercedes-Benz project follows on from the comprehensive goals set by San José in the area of “Smart City” technologies. It will also help us to develop guidelines for dealing with new technologies and prepare for the transport system of the future,” says Dolan Beckel, Director of Urban Innovation for the City of San José.

Daimler and Bosch have been working together for over two and a half years on automated driving in the city. The goal of the cooperation is a SAE Level 4/5 driving system for fully automated and driverless vehicles, including software for vehicle control. The focus is not on prototypes, but on a system suitable for series production that can be integrated into different vehicle types and models.

In the development of the control software for vehicle movement, the partners are not only relying on artificial intelligence and gathering test kilometers. Rather, the engineers use simulations and special test tracks to look specifically at driving situations that are extremely rare in road traffic. The engineers at the test and technology centre in Immendingen (Germany) have at their disposal a 100,000 square metre test track specially designed for automated driving. Here, complex traffic situations can be reproduced with high precision and as often as necessary.

Daimler and Bosch have brought another partner on board specifically for the pilot project for their automated ride-sharing service: Daimler Mobility AG is developing and testing a fleet platform belonging to the pilot operation. This enables potential ride-hailing partners to integrate self-propelled cars into their services.

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