When it comes to a place to roll out a highly automated ride-hailing service, Silicon Valley seems like the right place to do it. That's why Bosch and Daimler will be headed to San Jose next year.
Bosch and Daimler announced Thursday that the two will deploy an automated, on-demand ride-hailing service in San Jose. Slated to begin in the second half of 2019, the service will show how future mobility services can be integrated into an existing transportation network.
Daimler will supply the Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans used for this pilot, and they'll be outfitted with all the hardware necessary for full automation. Even though they will operate without human input, there will still be a safety driver up front, prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time. Safety first, after all.
Mercedes-Benz has had a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California since 2014, so the legal side of things is already settled, and it's already tested vehicles in the Sunnyvale area. The automaker has also had approval to test in Stuttgart, Germany since 2016.
The service, which will run under the Daimler Mobility Services banner, won't be traversing the entirety of Silicon Valley at will. Rather, it will be limited to a specific community in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor to start, and the press release makes it sound like the AVs will have designated pick-up spots. It's unclear if Bosch and Daimler plan to expand the pilot program if it's successful, or if there are other long-term plans in the works.
Daimler has been plenty busy with its other mobility companies, as well, all of which are under the Daimler Mobility Services umbrella. Car2Go is a fleet-based car-sharing scheme that's live in a few major US metropolitan areas. In other markets, it runs the Mytaxi ride-hailing service, and it also owns Moovel, which seeks to improve urban navigation by combining multiple services (including public transportation, car sharing and ride hailing) to cover every inch of a trip.
: Three rows, new infotainment and mild-hybrid tech.
: A techy drop-top for the one percent.