In California, there will be a robot from Daimler and Bosch
The technology of autonomous machine control is becoming more and more perfect day by day - the benefit is that the number of companies conducting their research in this area is increasing every day. Autopilots do not develop units, as before, but dozens or even hundreds of companies.
It is clear that more often than not large companies achieve great success simply because they have more resources of various kinds. Another evidence of this is the imminent launch of the service of robotic taxis from Daimler AG and Bosch.
According to the developers , the launch of the test phase is scheduled for the second half of 2019. About the joint project of companies it became known this summer, but then there was only a short news without much detail. Now there is more data.
In particular, it is known that the service will work with Mercedes Benz S Class cars, which are equipped with specialized computer systems, called NVIDIA Drive Pegasus.
At the moment, the service will work only in a specific region of San Jose, California, USA. And the most interesting thing is that the trips will be free for passengers - thus, the company will run in their cars in the field. Of course, the safety of these vehicles has already been raised to a fairly high level, which allows us not to worry too much about the quality of autopilot driving on public roads.
Free service for passengers is one of the conditions set by the administration of the settlement to the project partners who have applied for a permit for testing. It is worth noting that both companies have already worked together before - so, last year they created the world's first garage for cars with advanced autopilot. In this garage, the car is parked on the orders of the electronic brain, however, people will still park the car.
As you can see, this project will use the “full-time” car model from Mercedes. Some companies believe that both the hardware and software platforms should be optimized for autonomy - in particular, this is the conviction of Volvo and Baidu representatives. Recently reportedthat both companies have signed a contract to work on the creation of unmanned vehicles.
In this case, the goal of Volvo and Baidu, as in the case of Daimler and Bosch, is to issue cars with a fourth degree of autonomy on public roads - that is, cars that do not need human supervision. The interior of such cars can be modified in such a way as to remove the driver's seat, increasing the free space.
During the test project, these cars will also work as a means of transport - and also for free. Volvo in this case is engaged in the design of the car, and Baidu is developing a software shell - good, the company has become adept in this matter. The current version of the autopilot is called Apollo 3.0, this is the latest iteration of the company's open-source platform. When working on the creation of this system, Baidu has entered into agreements with more than 400 different partners.
Daimler and Bosch chose California for work because it is one of the most favorable for US robots - state authorities allow developers of such vehicles a lot. In addition to administrative privileges, the climate here is also good and the climate is almost all year here is clear and sunny. Well, since rain, snow and other weather phenomena are not very suitable for testing robo mobiles (sensors, cameras and lidars work worse), the choice is obvious.
The California authorities, in an effort to attract more technology startups to the state, even decided to test unmanned vehicles without the presence of the driver - almost a year ago, in February 2018. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people who wanted to try out their car, among them is Waymo, a division of Google.
By the way, now many companies are very carefully conducting tests, bearing in mind the accident of the Uber robot that hit the cyclist. The accident occurred under the influence of two factors - a failure in the software of the machine and the "failure" of the driver-person - the operator simply watched the TV show "The Voice", not paying attention to what was happening around.