Mercedes-Benz Autonomous Taxi Fleet In 3 Years
Daimler, Mercedes-Benzís parent company, announced its intention launch a customer-serving, driver-free taxi service in just three years.
(Nice looking taxi cab, Daimler)
To master full autonomy and make the requisite hardware and software assembly line-ready, Daimler will rely on a freshly signed partnership with industry supplier Bosch. To offer it as a ride-hailing service, it will lean on knowledge gained from running its Car2Go sharing program as well as Mytaxi, an Uber-like taxi booking app it acquired in 2014.
Science fiction writers have spent a lot of time imagining robotic taxi systems. For example, consider Larry Niven's bubble cars from World out of Time (1976) or the tin cabbie from James Blish's 1957 novel Cities in Flight. And don't forget the autocab from Robert Heinlein's 1951 novel Between Planets.
A more recent take on the robot taxi idea can be found in Alan Dean Foster's 2006 novel Sagramanda; see the automated taxi:
...he urgently addressed the vehicle's AI."Can't we go any faster? I'm already running late."
Since the taxi utilized sophisticated electronic sensors to perceive its surroundings, the traditional forward windshield existed only to allow fares to see where they were going. The vehicle was as aware of this as its passenger.
"As you can see, sir, this is a very busy street, and I am forbidden by law and by coding from forcing a path..."
All were equipped with the same city-regulated programming.
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