With its warm climate and its laws more relaxed than the average, California has become one of the most popular places in the united States for manufacturers looking to test the technology autonomously. Daimler, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, has joined the list of tech firms and automotive that have been put to test systems without a driver in this state.
The news comes a year after Daimler and Bosch come together to launch prototypes based on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class in San Jose, and a few weeks after Ola Källenius, managing director of the company, warned that his team of engineers was adopting a posture realistic in the autonomous vehicles. Anonymous sources have pointed out that, despite everything, the project moves forward and approximately 30 prototypes are part of the most recent round of testing.
“We are not freezing the project. We are seeing where we can improve efficiency and obtain synergies for not doubling or tripling unnecessarily our development work. This pilot program is to capture the user experience,” said a source. More information, as the places where they are carrying out the tests, has not been disclosed.
The source stressed that the main point of the pilot program is to gather information about what users want out of a taxi self, do not test the hardware that moves the car. And although the prototypes are completely self-contained, are coming to public streets with a driver safety behind the wheel, if something goes wrong. Daimler, like most of its rivals, appears to be adopting an approach very experimental in which safety is the priority.
More than 60 companies have received permits to test their autonomous vehicles on the streets of California. The list includes Volkswagen, Waymo, Tesla, BMW, Nissan, Subaru, Nvidia, Lyft, Samsung and Apple.
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