Daimler and Bosch to Launch Self-Driving Taxi Service in California Next Year

Daimler and automotive supplier Bosch are teaming up to launch a self-driving taxi service by 2019

First reported by Reuters, the companies are co-launching an urban driving test pilot program best described as a passenger shuttle service, hosted by chip giant nVidia's Ndrive DRIVE Pegasus, its artificial intelligence platform, and Bosch's own electronic control unit.

In turn, Daimler will provide all the vehicles and access to test driving facilities, with the S and B classes speculated to be used.

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At the moment, both companies are negotiating with Northern California municipal governments to host testing. No word on the timeline for program completion.

This news follows a previous 2017 announcement of working on a Level 5 autonomous vehicle, designed for complex urban areas with mass production planned by 2030.

On the whole, there is a heated arms race amongst startups and established brands, with Waymo conducting a large-scale testing of its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans across Arizona's suburbs and General Motors March announcement of a $100 million investment into self-driving car production.