Daimler takes ‘reality check’ on robotaxis


Daimler has taken a “actuality examine” on self-driving taxis, acknowledging that creating them safe and sound is proving tougher than initial believed amid thoughts about their long term earnings prospective.

Daimler will “rightsize” its shelling out stage on robotaxis and self-driving technologies will additional very likely be used to industrial automobiles for freight providers on very long haul routes, CEO Ola Kallenius advised journalists on Thursday at the firm’s trader working day in London.

Automakers raced to produce self-driving automobiles immediately after Google offered a prototype automobile in 2012, foremost Daimler to produce an autonomous Mercedes-Benz.

The plan of fleets of robotaxis finding up and ferrying clients close to metropolitan areas received traction, pushed by the stellar development of experience expert services this kind of as Uber and of shipping expert services corporations.

Even so, expenses and regulatory hurdles have spiraled, foremost to a reassessment of the business enterprise prospective.

“There has been a actuality examine placing in right here,” Kallenius mentioned.

Making sure that self-driving vehicles are 100% safe and sound in crowded city parts is proving to be a even bigger problem than engineers experienced assumed a several several years in the past, Kallenius mentioned.

Even if Daimler is in a position to make robotaxis safe and sound, the added benefits of moving into the crowded experience-hailing business enterprise with self-driving vehicles stay unclear, he mentioned.

“The whole scale deployment would tie up a large amount of cash with some uncertainties close to the earnings prospective,” he mentioned. “At this juncture we mentioned to be the initial one particular, does not make perception.”

BMW and Daimler said in July they have entered into a very long-time period progress partnership to produce really automatic driving capabilities to allow “arms off” autonomous driving on highways as nicely as automatic parking.

Daimler has a different venture with provider Robert Bosch to excellent technologies for totally driverless vehicles.

Volkswagen Team has said it is placing up an autonomous driving device led by a previous Apple govt as it seeks to commercialize autonomous driving on a significant scale by the center of the future 10 years.

In July, VW introduced nearer cooperation with Ford Motor in autonomous driving and obtained a stake in Ford subsidiary Argo AI, which develops units for autonomous automobiles.

Automotive Information Europe contributed to this report

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