Mercedes-Benz and Bosch to Roll Out Autonomous Taxis in a Few Months

Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion Concept 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
Despite not making too much fuss about it - it's not fitting to a lord, after all - Mercedes-Benz is one of the companies that's doing pretty well in the quest for self-driving technology. Its S-Class flagship is probably already capable of Level 3 autonomy, but Mercedes just isn't the kind of company to risk anything before its systems had been tested within an inch of their lives.
Bosch, on the other hand, is one of those tier one automotive suppliers that's been fiddling with AI-controlled cars for years. In fact, the German company had a working prototype (a modified BMW 3 Series Touring) back when nobody else was talking about autonomous driving. So where is the parts and technology specialist these days?

Pretty far ahead, apparently, as the two German companies have just announced they would be fielding self-driving taxis in just a few months as part of a testing program. The news comes courtesy of Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner, speaking to German publication Automobilwoche (via engadget).

Denner did not provide a more accurate timetable, nor did he clarify how many cars would be involved or where exactly they would operate, but it shows the two companies feel there is the need for a bit of urgency if they plan on remaining relevant in this very fast-changing market.

Unlike most of its rivals, the Mercedes-Benz autonomous taxis are going to be specifically-designed vehicles, not existing models with some extra sensors and computing power. That means they will not only be able to fulfill their role as people movers better, but also avoid looking like something that's been put together in a hurry.

Expect to see something similar to the F015 Luxury in Motion concept that was shown at the Consumer and Electronics Show in Las Vegas three years ago: an egg-shaped vehicle that will provide accommodation for at least four people while looking futuristic at the same time.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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