Daimler and Bosch to stop cooperating to produce robotaxis

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Daimler and Bosch wanted to cooperate in the development of autonomous vehicles to be used as taxis, so-called robotaxis. Now, however, the two companies have decided to end their cooperation.

The German daily Suddeutsche Zeitung informs that Daimler and Bosch will no longer cooperate in the development of autonomous vehicles for urban traffic, the so-called robotaxis.

Since 2018, Bosch, the world’s largest supplier of automotive components, and Daimler, have begun a cooperation in which they have developed software and hardware systems for fully autonomous cars. These robot taxis should have been on the market in a few years.

But now, both companies have decided to end the collaboration. After “intensive testing and in the best possible partnership”, the companies agreed to “focus on individual development paths in the future in this extremely complex field of fully automated vehicles in urban environments,” said a Daimler spokesmanquoted by Suddeutsche Zeitung.

Bosch also confirmed to the German daily that there are discussions about stopping cooperation in this field. Daimler also cooperated with BMW to develop technologies for autonomous cars and prepare them for industrialization. But this cooperation also ended in 2020.

After autonomous driving was considered a great opportunity and it was expected that the first fully  level 5 autonomous car would be launched in 2025, car manufacturers but not only (see Google and Apple looking for a partner to develop the first autonomous car) began to give up.

First of all, the lack of legislation has demoralized many carmakers. A consensus has not yet been reached even for level 3 autonomous driving who is responsible in the event of an accident: the manufacturer or the driver.

Then, the price of autonomous driving systems is much higher than expected. Only for level 3 autonomous driving, the option costs about 8-10,000 euros. The first car with level 3 autonomous driving was the Audi A8 in 2018 but the option could not be offered to customers because there is no legislation.

It seems that legislation will be adopted in Germany this fall, and Mercedes is ready to offer this option on the new luxury limousines Mercedes S-Class V223 and Mercedes EQS.