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Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, Bosch pilot automated shuttle service in California

Daimler AG-owned Mercedes-Benz and Bosch have kicked off their automated ride-hailing services project in urban areas, starting with San Jose, Calif., according to a Dec. 9 release.

The launch comes over a year after the two companies signaled their plan to roll out the pilot in the second half of 2019.

The Bosch and Mercedes-Benz project will see automated Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles equipped with Bosch and Mercedes-Benz's driving system and software providing shuttle service between the western part of the city and downtown.

Daimler Mobility AG, the German carmaker's automotive mobility services unit, will let ride-hailing partners integrate self-driving vehicles into their service portfolio. Riders will be able to book a journey from a selected pickup point to their destination.

The companies said the automated shuttles will still be monitored by a safety driver.

Bosch will develop and produce components for urban automated driving under the partnership.

The deal builds on the two companies' existing partnership in the U.S. and Europe. They have been collaborating on solutions for automated driving in cities for about 2.5 years.

In July 2018, Daimler and Bosch signed a deal with NVIDIA Corp. to use the latter's artificial intelligence-powered platform Drive Pegasus for their planned network of fully automated driverless cars.

Prior to collaborating on automated driving technologies, Bosch and Daimler operated a 50/50 electric-motor joint venture called EM-motive GmbH from 2011, until Daimler sold off its entire stake in the venture to Bosch in January.