San José, the third city in California, is planned to be the pilot for trials, during the second half of 2019 for a highly and fully automated driving (SAE Level 4/5) on-demand ride-hailing service.
Daimler, Bosch and San José have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue this test. Using automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles, Daimler will offer the service to a selected users in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor between downtown and west San José. With its population expected to grow 40% in the next two decades, the metropolitan area faces growing transportation challenges.
“The pilot project is an opportunity to explore how autonomous vehicles can help us better meet future transportation needs,” says Sam Liccardo, mayor of San José.
The on-demand ride-hailing service app operated by Daimler Mobility Services will demonstrate how mobility services such as car sharing (car2go), ride-hailing (mytaxi) and multi-modal platforms (moovel) can be intelligently connected.
The test operation will provide some information (selected users not civilians) about how highly and fully automated vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transportation network. (Cliché Alert> “The intent is to provide a seamless digital experience, in which a selected user community will have the opportunity to hail a self-driving car, monitored by a safety driver, from a designated pick-up location and drive automatically to their destination.
Daimler and Bosch claim that SAE level 4/5 vehicles in urban environments, can improve the flow of traffic in cities, enhance road safety, and provide a step toward the way traffic will work in the future. With cars coming to drivers, not the other way around, the technology can boost the attraction of car sharing. Without compromising driving safety (This is speculation at this point), it will allow people to make the best possible use of their time they spend in their vehicles and open new mobility opportunities for people without a driver’s license.
Daimler and Bosch Share Office Space
Employees involved in the development project work together in teams in two regions: the greater Stuttgart area in Germany and, in the United States, around Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley between San José and of San Francisco. They share the same office space, easing communication across working . At the same time, they can draw on the combined know-how of their colleagues in the parent companies.
The companies ‘associates are jointly developing the concepts and algorithms for the highly and fully automated drive system. Daimler’s task is to bring the drive system into the car. It provides development vehicles, test facilities, and vehicles for the test fleet. Bosch is responsible for the components specified during the development work, such as sensors, actuators, and control units. For test purposes, the partners use their laboratories and test rigs, plus their respective test sites in Germany. Since obtaining its Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in 2014, Mercedes-Benz has been testing automated vehicles in the Sunnyvale/California region. And since 2016, it has had similar approval for the greater Stuttgart area in Germany.
In early 2013, Bosch was the world’s first automotive supplier to test automated driving (SAE level 3) on public roads in Germany and in the United States.