The project combines Daimler’s overall vehicle competence with the system and hardware expertise of the world's largest automotive supplier, both companies said in a joint release. The resulting synergies are aimed at as early as possible and secure series introduction of the technology.
Bosch is already in a supplier relationship with Daimler. The current move goes beyond this relationship in that it includes significant joint research and development activities, a Bosch spokesperson explained. “In a normal supply relationship, the OEM selects his suppliers,” the spokesperson said. “In this case, it was a mutual process.”
The project work is aimed primarily at the development of a driving system, so that cars in the city can be completely autonomous. The idea behind it is that the vehicle comes to the driver, not the driver to the vehicle. Within a defined urban area, users can conveniently order a car-sharing car or a robot taxi via a smartphone.
With fully automated, driverless driving in an urban environment, both partners hope to improve traffic flow in cities, increase road safety and provide an important building block for future traffic. The technology increases among other things the attractiveness of car sharing. It enables people to make the best use of time in the vehicle and, for example, opens up new opportunities for people without a driving license to be mobile.
Bosch is already supplying level 3 technology to a broad range of automotive OEMs. Won’t the special relationship with Daimler affect the relationship to Daimler’s competitors? No, the spokesperson said. “Level 4 and 5 are still relatively far in the future. After a reasonable period of exclusivity we will be able to sell the technology developed in collaboration with Daimler to a broad range of customers.”