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The driverless metropolis


The driverless metropolis

Ian Kerr

An unnamed Californian city will be the pilot location for a test fleet of automated vehicles.

In the second half of 2019, Bosch and Daimler will set up a shuttle service with automated vehicles on selected routes in this mystery city. The concept behind the pilot project is to show how mobility services such as car sharing, ride-hailing and multi-modal platforms can be connected to shape the future of mobility.

“Safety has the highest priority, and is the constant theme of all aspects and development stages on our way to the start of series production. If in doubt, thoroughness comes before speed.” - Dr Michael Hafner, Head of Automated Driving at Daimler AG

Fast deciphering of sensor information

Autonomous vehicles in urban environments need to quickly and reliably recognise its surroundings. This requires massive computer power, meaning driverless vehicles are something like mobile supercomputers.

Data from all sensors with radar, video, lidar and ultrasound technology (sensor data fusion), is evaluated within milliseconds and used to plan the movements of the vehicle. 

Silicon Valley test site

As part of the trial, there will be automated shuttle services on selected routes in a city located in Silicon Valley. The test operation will provide information about how fully-automated and driverless vehicles can be integrated into a multi-modal transport network. 

Will it tackle congestion?

Bosch and Daimler say one of their aims is to improve urban traffic flow.

The vehicle comes to the driver, not the driver to the vehicle. But will that alleviate or exacerbate congestion?

Let's see what results the trial brings.

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