(Reuters) — Daimler has taken a “fact test” on self-driving “robotaxis”, acknowledging that making them secure is proving tougher than first concept amid questions over their long term profits doable.
Leader Government Ola Kaellenius advised reporters on Thursday Daimler would “rightsize” its spending stage on robotaxis and that self-driving era would much more likely be implemented to business cars for freight firms on lengthy haul routes.
Carmakers raced to expand self-driving cars after Google offered a prototype automotive in 2012, main Daimler to expand an self reliant Mercedes.
The theory of fleets of robotaxis choosing up and ferrying consumers round towns received traction, pushed by means of the stellar enlargement of experience services and products corresponding to Uber and of supply services and products companies.
On the other hand, prices and regulatory hurdles have spiraled, resulting in a reassessment of the trade doable.
“There was a fact test surroundings in right here,” Kaellenius mentioned.
Making sure that self-driving vehicles are 100% secure in crowded city spaces is proving to be a larger problem than engineers had assumed a couple of years in the past, he mentioned.
Even supposing Daimler is in a position to make robotaxis secure, some great benefits of coming into the crowded ride-hailing trade with self-driving vehicles stay unclear, he added.
“The whole scale deployment would tie up numerous capital with some uncertainties across the profits doable,” he mentioned.
“At this juncture we mentioned to be the primary one, does no longer make sense.”
Daimler has already sought a building alliance with BMW for semi-autonomous car era and it has some other challenge with provider Robert Bosch to easiest era for absolutely driverless vehicles.
(Reporting by means of Edward Taylor, enhancing by means of Riham Alkousaa and Alexandra Hudson)