Daimler and automotive supplier Robert Bosch will start testing its so called robo-taxis in the next few months. Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler and Bosch teamed up last year to develop self-driving cars in an alliance aimed at accelerating the production of robo-taxis, joining a growing number of rivals trying to do the same.
The pact between the world’s No.1 maker of premium cars and the world’s No.1 automotive supplier, forms a counterweight to new auto industry players like ride-hailing firms Uber and Didi, which are also working on self-driving cars. Technology companies and car-makers are now striving to adjust to a shifting landscape in the auto industry as consumers increasingly use smartphones to locate, hail and rent vehicles, rather than going out and buying cars.
Apart from highly autonomous level 3 vehicles we will also bring fully autonomous vehicles – level 4/5 – to the streets in the foreseeable future.
– Wilko Stark, VP Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Cars
Daimler is mainly betting on the purpose-built nature of its taxis as an advantage. The taxis won’t just amount to a usual “technology-kit mounted on a serial vehicle,” according to Daimler VP Wilko Stark — they’ve been designed as autonomous rides “from the beginning.” The officials believes that, this could give them an edge if their ergonomics and performance are better than retrofitted conventional cars.