Located on the southern shore of San Francisco Bay in Silicon Valley, and with more than one million inhabitants, San José is the third biggest city in California. It is planned to be the pilot city for trials, targeted to begin during the second half of 2019, of the highly and fully automated driving (SAE Level 4/5) on-demand ride-hailing service recently announced by Bosch and Daimler. The three parties have signed a memorandum of understanding to pursue and finalize this activity. Using automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles, Bosch and Daimler propose to offer the service to a selected user community in the San Carlos/Stevens Creek corridor between downtown and west San José. With its population expected to grow 40 percent in the next two decades, the metropolitan area faces growing transportation challenges. Moreover, San José wants to prepare itself for a future in which autonomous cars hit the streets.
“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. “Since many years we consequently push autonomous driving. With this pilot we will generate valuable insights to connect fully automated vehicles in the best way with users of future mobility services,” says Dr. Michael Hafner, Vice President Drive Technologies and Automated Driving at Daimler AG. “We have to rethink urban transportation. Automated driving will help us complete the picture of future urban traffic,” says Dr. Stephan Hönle, senior vice president of the Automated Driving business unit at Robert Bosch GmbH.
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 information about how highly and fully automated vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transportation network. 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.
With their joint development work on highly and fully automated driving (SAE level 4/5) in urban environments, Bosch and Daimler aim to improve the flow of traffic in cities, enhance road safety, and provide an important building block for the way traffic will work in the future. Among other things, the technology will boost the attraction of car sharing. Without compromising driving safety, it will allow people to make the best possible use of the time they spend in their vehicles, and open up new mobility opportunities for people without a driver’s license.
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Source and photo credit: Bosch