It looks like taxis are going to look significantly more luxurious quite soon, and you won’t even have to deal with annoyances of human error or conversation. And according to Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner, the robo-taxis could be coming to a road near you in only a matter of months.
The partnership with Bosch is going very well. Anyone familiar with standard product development times knows that the introduction of appropriate systems is within reach, Denner told German site Automobilwoche.
It was previously thought that Daimler was behind its competitors BMW and Google’s Waymo, with BMW having set a firm 2021 consumer availability date for its autonomous vehicles and Waymo’s autonomous wing being well-underway in its own pursuit of a market-ready fleet. But with the recent announcement of a test vehicle rollout in the coming months, Daimler clearly knows that in the case of new, game-shifting technology such as autonomous vehicles, if you’re not among the first to the market, you may end up being last in terms of market share.
Mercedes has marketed its autonomous vehicles around the fact that they really are different from the average self-driving car. The design of F015 autonomous concept vehicle, which was unveiled two years ago, looks like something that is from another planet.
Because we haven’t seen the prototype for Daimler’s autonomous taxi yet, we can’t be certain whether it will resemble the F015, a regular car that is retrofitted with autonomous tech, or somewhere in between. Based on a statement from the vice president of Daimler and Mercedes Benz strategy, we can safely assume that something about the Daimler-Mercedes autonomous taxis will look different, whether that is in the interior, exterior, or both.
The big difference to other competitors is that we are conceptualizing our vehicle as a robo-taxi right from the beginning and not as a technology kit mounted on a serial vehicle, Wilko Stark said. We will not have a makeshift solution.