In the ongoing race to have the best driverless cars on the road, numerous companies have already announced their autonomous car projects. This endeavor has seen companies involved in this line of work get involved in acquisitions, funding exercises, recruitment of better expertise and experience in the field and more importantly, partnerships. One of the notable collaborations includes car supplier Bosch and Mercedes parent company, Daimler.
Recently, both Daimler and Bosch made headlines after announcing their intentions to unveil a self-driving taxi service next year. The taxis will operate in California’s Silicon Valley area as a trial program of cars that are specially designed for city driving. The test exercise will assume a ride-hailing service formed passengers will be ferried in autonomous driving shuttles.
The partnership between Bosch and Daimler will see the German-based automotive giant provide the cars while the former will deliver the controls and sensors that make up the vehicles’ autonomous aspects. Aside from that, Engadget revealed that both companies would utilize autonomous driving artificial intelligence systems from Nvidia, a well-known US-based chip maker.
Executives from both firms refused to talk about the potential size of the pilot exercise as well as the number of cars that would be used. Uwe Keller, Daimler’s head of self-driving, asserted that Mercedes B and S-class cars would be utilized in development. However, he did not disclose the model to be used in the pilot process.
Both the supplier and giant automaker expect that the trial run in California will provide them with information regarding how autonomous driving cars can be incorporated into a sophisticated transport network proving multiple choices.
Daimler and Bosch are convinced that Nvidia’s Drive Pegasus Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform would be sufficient to deliver level 4 or 5 autonomy, as it can currently handle over 320 trillion processes per second. Level 4 or 5 autonomy means that a car can move around a city without any help from its occupants or passengers. Reuters further revealed more details citing that during the test program, each car would be deployed with the company of a safety driver, who would take over the controls in the case of an emergency.
For customers who want to get a ride with these soon-to-be-launched shuttles, they would require to access an application created by Daimler that will provide a list of all the pre-determined routes. What’s more, the taxi service would be free to use, particularly during the pilot period. Both companies involved in the project are currently trying to negotiate with various cities in California for them to sign up for this remarkable test program.
Away from the effort by Daimler and Bosch, global suppliers, tech companies and automakers such as Uber and Alphabet’s Waymo are investing a lot of resources not only into the creation of self-driving systems but also the release of networks of test fleets across the world, which are intended to propel the technology forward.
In fact, the highly – complex obstacles facing self-driving as well as the cost of research and development into the field has resulted in numerous partnerships between supplier and automakers among other companies.