California chosen to host Daimler/Bosch self-driving pilot project
Bosch and Daimler plan to use a city in central California as a test bed for in-town automated driving systems. The companies have been working together on self-driving vehicles for some time and have signed an agreement with Nvidia, of Silicon Valley, which will provide computing power.
The companies are planning on deploying a test fleet of self-driving vehicles, which will be offered as a shuttle service on selected routes within an unnamed Californian "metropolis" in the second half of 2019. The pilot project is aimed towards connecting disparate mobility services within Daimler's umbrella, while also working as a test bed for the SAE level 4 /5 autonomous vehicles.
Daimler will be combining services from its car-sharing car2go platform, its ride-hailing mytaxi service, and the multi-modal moovel system. This will pull together the separate options to synergize them into a full mobility suite.
For its part, Nvidia will provide the computing platform to be used in the autonomous cars under the Drive Pegasus name. This will include artificially intelligent processing for real-time responses to inputs from varied sensors both on the vehicles themselves and from the network of vehicles being tested. The platform is expected to process trillions of operations per second. While the platform itself will be owned by Bosch and Daimler, Nvidia's expertise will be used to develop it.
"Developing automated driving to a level ready for series production is like a decathlon," said Dr. Stephan Honle, Senior VP of Business Unit Automated Driving at Robert Bosch GmbH. "It's not enough to be good in one or two areas."
The goal is to create a self-driving vehicle that is safely able to operate in urban/city environments. Versatile, redundant systems able to function in parallel in order to process information quickly is the key, Daimler says.
Operations will be centered at Bosch and Daimler's facility in Silicon Valley, as well as its home headquarters in Germany.