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.