Daimler and Bosch to ‘start testing robot-taxis in few months’
According to German car magazine Automobilwoche, cited by Reuters, Daimler and automotive supplier Bosch are to “start testing robot-taxis in a few months from now”. The Germans want to be the first concern to roll out fully autonomous taxis that are especially designed for this purpose.
Breathing down their neck
Initially Daimler and Bosch predicted autonomous cars on the road not earlier than 2020. But with Alphabet daughter Waymo, buying already thousands of Chrysler Pacificas, converting them into autonomous taxis to be rolled out for testing in 25 cities in the US, they feel the competition breathing down their neck.
Automobilwoche bases this claim on a quote by Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner saying that “the two companies will start testing the autonomous taxis on the road in a few months”, without giving more details.
Contrary to competitors like Waymo converting existing vans or cars, Daimler is designing a robot-taxi from the ground up. It hopes to have an advantage this way by offering specific comfort and services.
Vice-president at Daimler and Mercedes-Benz Strategy Wilko Stark told Automobilwoche: “Apart from level 3 vehicles (requiring a steering wheel and a driver e.n.), fully autonomous level 4 and 5 will be put on the streets in a foreseeable future.”