Mercedes-Benz Wants to Have Driverless Taxis on the Road by 2020

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【Summary】Mercedes-Benz promises to have autonomous taxis on the road by three years, joining the likes of Ford and BMW who both made similar claims.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    May 19, 2017 12:30 PM PT
Mercedes-Benz Wants to Have Driverless Taxis on the Road by 2020

Automakers and companies inch closer to getting autonomous cars on the road everyday. New technology, more extensive tests, and collaborations are making it easier for players in the autonomous segment to release driverless technology sooner than previously thought. While companies can't agree on a timeline for autonomous vehicles, they can all agree on the fact that self-driving cars are coming. 

Mercedes-Benz Wants Cars To Ferry People Around

Mercedes-Benz, according to a report by Wired, wants to do more than just sell self-driving vehicles to interested buyers, but also aims to have autonomous cars ferry people around. The German automaker recently announced plans to launch a driver-free taxi service in approximately three years. 

As Wired points out, Mercedes-Benz isn't the only automaker claiming to have a fleet of autonomous vehicles on the road within the next few years. The head of research at Ford Motor Co., Ken Washington, believes that the mass adoption of autonomous vehicles won't happen for the next five or 10 years. 

BMW, on the other hand, aims to release a Level 5 driverless car, which will be able to completely operate on its own by 2021. Even companies like Uber are getting into the self-driving taxi market by shuffling users around in autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh

Daimler Is No Stranger To Self-Driving Cars

Daimler, a multinational automotive corporation that owns Mercedes-Benz, isn't a stranger to autonomous vehicles. As Wired points out, Daimler launched the world's first autonomous truck, which was just a concept, back in 2015. Currently, Mercedes-Benz offers driverless technology in its vehicles under its existing Drive Pilot moniker. 

Drive Pilot can keep the vehicle in its lane and a safe distance behind other automobiles. While going completely autonomous will take some time, Daimler recently entered into a partnership with Bosch to help both companies expedite the process of getting self-driving tech onto the road. 

Daimler also has its own car-sharing program, Car2go, and taxi-like program, MyTaxi, which is similar to Uber. Giving its vehicles in the car-sharing and taxi-like programs would be a relatively easy thing to complete. The only thing that's holding Daimler back is getting its self-driving tech ready to be adopted on a mass scale. 

While Daimler announced its plans, the company didn't provide a concrete date for when the driverless taxis would be on the road besides vaguely stating "the beginning of the next decade," reports Wired. "We're trying to get the technology on a mature level," said Axel Gern, Daimler's head of autonomous driving. 

When that day does arrive, Daimler will make sure things remain safe by keeping human safety drivers behind the wheel of the vehicles, similar to what Uber currently does. The vehicles, as Gern claims, will only be used in carefully mapped urban locations and in good weather. 

All of the automakers and companies listed above, and many others, not only see driverless vehicles as the future, but also a way to make lucrative ride-hailing businesses, as Wired points out. One thing is for sure, whichever automaker or companies becomes the first to enter the driverless taxi segment will make the most amount of money. 

via: Wired

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