By the end of the next decade, you might be able to hail an autonomous taxi right from your smartphone. Together with Bosch, Mercedes-Benz hopes to have a fleet of self-driving taxis on the road. The two companies have already begun development on a series of fully automated (SAE Level 4), and driverless (SAE Level 5) vehicles for public use.
The partnership combines the expertise of one of the world's leading premium manufacturers in Mercedes with the hardware and expertise of the world's largest automotive supplier in Bosch. The two together hope that they can bring the dream of self-driving cars to the real world – and relatively soon.
The proposed car service would allow customers to order the self-driving taxis via a mobile app on their smartphone. Though both Bosch and Mercedes are keeping most of the concrete details well under wraps, the overall goal is "to achieve the production-ready development of a driving system which will allow cars to drive fully autonomously in the city," according to the press release.
The technology is previewed, in part, by the F015 Luxury in Motion autonomous concept that was saw back in 2015. The so-called "self-driving luxury sedan" is seen here in a few early sketches, and shows the proposed autonomous car service in action in the near future. Along with the obvious autonomous capabilities, the F015 comes with a pure-electric driving range of 124 miles (200 kilometers).
Even though the companies say that they hope to have the cars on the road by the next decade, the two plan to have the technology completed "as early as possible," meaning we could see an early prototype in just a few years. Fingers crossed.