As per the joint statement given by Daimler, a German multinational automotive corporation; and Bosch, an auto-parts supplier that they would develop Robot Mercedes cabs, which will be seen traveling through business district San Jones by the end of the next year. The company has a contract for testing the self-driving services over the ride-hailing route in the city.
Selected members from the public will be offered free rides in self-directing Mercedes-Benz S-Class models between the city center and west San Jose to understand the customers’ expectations, interests, interactions, and behavior throughout the ride.
For the pilot project, Daimler will modify its existing Mercedes models into autonomous vehicles. However, for the future, the company will manufacture Mercedes purposely designed for self-driving mode.
Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Daimler said that the autonomous car that is yet to be developed may not have any manual controls or steering wheel.
Daimler spokeswoman, Anja Weinert said that both the companies would have to select a group of riders for the project, which will be chosen by an app through the participation of the willing persons from the public. The companies have not yet decided the number of rides and the number of vehicles to be modified as a part of the pilot project.
From December 2016, the autonomous driving unit, Waymo has already provided free autonomous driving services to specific users in Arizona and revealed that it will expand its services to the Bay Area. The company is now trying to commercialize the services this year.
At present, Daimler is also focusing on the production of electric cars. The company is preparing its plants in Berlin and Hamburg for manufacturing of various auto-parts. In the future, Hamburg plant will supply rear axles, electric-drive parts, and other lightweight components for the Mercedes EQC, while the Berlin plant will manufacture and supply parts for mild-hybrid vehicles.