Autonomous vehicle testing around the country is picking up steam, at least from the perspective of the companies planning the testing.
Now Daimler and Bosch are getting set to test a highly and fully automated driving on-demand ride-hailing service in San Jose.
The service, using automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles, will be offered to a selected user community in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor between downtown and west San Jose, according to a blog post by Daimler.
“The pilot project is an opportunity to explore how autonomous vehicles can help us better meet future transportation needs,” stated San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo.
The on-demand ride-sharing service will be operated by Daimler Mobility Service and will be testing how car sharing services likecar2Go, ride-hailing by Mytaxi and multi-modal platforms like Moovel can be intelligently connected.
As in most tests, the self-driving cars will be monitored by a safety driver and will operated from a designated pick-up location and drive automatically to the determined destination.
The two major brands of Daimler and Bosch are working together, with Daimler providing the development vehicles, test facilities and vehicles for the test fleet and Bosch providing components specified during the development work, such as sensors, actuators and control units. The partners use their laboratories and test rigs from their respective test sites in Germany.
The self-driving car trials won’t start until next year.
This is only one of many self-driving tests in the works. For example, Ford is partnering with Walmart to test how autonomous vehicles could be used for grocery deliveries, Alphabet’s Waymo is going to test self-driving cars without a test driver in California and Toyota and Softbank are working together combining the artificial intelligence work with autonomous vehicle technology.
After some of these major brands get their autonomous technology up to speed, the end customers – the people who might actually ride in those vehicles – will have their say.