Mercedes-Benz and German supplier Bosch have announced they will begin a self-driving car pilot service next year in California.
Mercedes parent Daimler said last week that the public self-driving car test service will roll out in San Jose, California, in the second quarter of 2019. Daimer and Bosch have worked together quietly on the technology that will be deployed in Mercedes-Benz test vehicles. Its announcement puts them within striking distance of General Motors and its Cruise Automation subsidiary. GM also plans to start a self-driving ride-sharing service by the end of 2019.
Mercedes-Benz will provide rides in a self-driving S-Class luxury sedan with routes that run between downtown San Jose and the city's west side. Daimer, Bosch, and the city have signed a memorandum of understanding to "pursue and finalize" the service, according to the report.
Daimler said in June that it intended to launch a self-driving pilot service for the public in Silicon Valley. Then, the automaker said the self-driving cars would still include a steering wheel and a safety driver. The automaker added a "selected user community" will have the ability to hail a self-driving car for transportation when the service launches.
The automaker has focused on the self-driving car's vehicle system, while Bosch has worked on key elements such as sensors for the prototype vehicles. Both companies want to introduce a finalized self-driving car in 2021.