Car maker Daimler is teaming up with automotive supplier Bosch to offer a shuttle service with automated vehicles on selected routes in California’s Silicon Valley region.
Planned to be launched in the second half of 2019, the pilot project aims to demonstrate how fully-automated and driverless vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transport network in cities.
The cars will be equipped with various sensors which feed data into a network of individual control units. Technology company Nvidia will provide a platform for running the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms generated by Bosch and Daimler for the vehicle’s movement.
The network of control units collates the data from all sensors with radar, video, lidar and ultrasound technology (sensor data fusion), evaluates them within milliseconds and plans the movements of the vehicle. According to the partners, the control unit network has a computing capacity of hundreds of trillion operations per second.
Each vehicle will operate with a safety driver and a steering wheel, Reuters reported.
Daimler Mobility Services will operate the test fleet and the associated app-based mobility service, offering customers free rides on selected routes within the city during the pilot.
“The decisive factor is to introduce a safe, dependable and mature system,” commented Dr Michael Hafner, head of automated driving at Daimler AG. “Safety has the highest priority, and is the constant theme of all aspects and development stages on our way to the start of series production. If in doubt, thoroughness comes before speed.”
Bosch and Daimler have been collaborating on self-driving technology since April 2017, with teams from both companies working together in Stuttgart and Silicon Valley. The development work is financed equally by the two partners.