Daimler AG and automotive supplier Bosch have chosen San Jose, California as the pilot city for a new autonomous ride-hailing service. The pilot program, which is expected to begin in the second half of 2019, will allow residents to summon a self-driving car from a designated pick-up location which will drive them automatically to their destination. Although the cars will be autonomous, a pair of safety drivers will be on-board to take manual control in any unexpected situations.
“With this pilot we will generate valuable insights to connect fully automated vehicles in the best way with users of future mobility services,” said Michael Hafner, Daimler’s vice president drive technologies and automated driving at Daimler AG.
As San Jose’s population is expected to grow 40 percent in the next two decades, the city wants to prepare itself for future transportation needs.
“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. “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.”
“Autonomous vehicles provide an opportunity to explore how to better meet the transportation needs of our diverse community – including our seniors, people with disabilities and other residents with limited transportation options,” said San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo. “In addition, by collaborating with companies on real-world deployments, we’ll gain valuable data and insight that will help us prepare for the rapidly-approaching day when autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our streets.”