Do You Know the Way, San Jose? Autonomous Ride-Hailing Starts Up

Bosch and Mercedes-Benz have launched a pilot automated ride-hailing project in San Jose, California. Monitored by a safety driver, the self-driving cars shuttle between West San José and downtown, along San Carlos Street and Stevens Creek Boulevard.

The service will initially be available to a select group of users. They will use an app developed by Daimler Mobility AG.  With it, they can book a journey by the automated S-Class vehicles from a defined pick-up point to their destination.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The companies hope this pilot will furnish lessons for the development of autonomous cars equipped with Bosch and Mercedes-Benz SAE Level 4/5 automated driving system and software. They also expect to gain further insights into how self-driving cars can be integrated into an intermodal mobility system that also includes public transportation and car-sharing.

“In mid-2017, San José was the first U.S. city to invite private companies to carry out field tests of automated driving and analyze the growing challenges in road traffic. The project of Mercedes-Benz and Bosch ties in with San José’s extensive ‘smart city’ objectives. It will also help us develop guidelines for dealing with new technologies and prepare for the traffic system of the future,” says Dolan Beckel, the city’s Director of Civic Innovation and Digital Strategy.

For this project, Bosch and Mercedes-Benz partnered with Daimler Mobility AG. Daimler Mobility is developing and testing a fleet platform to accompany the pilot operation phase. This allows potential ride-hailing partners to seamlessly integrate self-driving vehicles into their service portfolio. The platform manages both self-driving and conventional vehicles, including operation and maintenance.