A new co-development agreement between Bosch and Daimler seeks to bring about the introduction of fully automated (SAE Level 4) and driverless (SAE Level 5) driving to urban roads by the beginning of the next decade.
The objective of the Bosch-Daimler partnership is to develop the software and algorithms necessary for a complete and integrated autonomous driving system. The project combines the total vehicle expertise of Daimler, with the systems and hardware nous of automotive components supplier Bosch.
The partners are confident the ensuing synergies should ensure the earliest possible series introduction of the secure technology needed by a fully autonomous vehicle ecosystem. By introducing fully automated and driverless driving to the urban environment, Bosch and Daimler aim to improve the flow of traffic in cities, enhance safety on the road, and provide an important building block for the way that traffic will work in the future.
Among other things, the partners are hoping the technology will boost the attraction of car sharing systems. The autonomous system will allow people to make the best possible use of their time in the vehicle, and could open up new mobility opportunities for people without a driver’s license. The prime objective of the project is to achieve the production-ready development of a complete driving system that will allow cars to drive fully autonomously in the city. The idea behind it is that the vehicle should come to the driver, rather than the other way round. Within a specified area of town, customers will be able to order an automated shared car via their smartphone. The vehicle will then make its way autonomously to the user, and the onward journey can commence.
The collaboration is part of Daimler’s ‘CASE’ philosophy for future Mercedes cars, with the acronym standing for the strategic pillars of: connectivity, autonomous driving, flexible use (Shared & Services), and electric drive systems, which will be intelligently combined with one another by the company. Daimler is already active in all four areas. The company’s connectivity interests are focused on the Mercedes ‘me’ digital brand, which gives customers access to an extensive and personalized range of services by smartphone app, website or straight from their car. The company is also a pioneer of autonomous driving though both its car and truck divisions.
Daimler is also strong in the field of shared mobility services, with its interests in: moovel, an urban mobility company that operates three multimodal transport apps; the mytaxi cab booking and payment app; and car2go, an international car sharing company. With some two million users, the company is the world’s biggest provider in the area of free-floating car-sharing. Daimler is also developing a holistic ecosystem of electric vehicles, combined with a comprehensive range of electric mobility related offerings, which extends from intelligent services to energy storage units for private and commercial customers, as well as charging technologies, such as inductive charging, to sustainable recycling.