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Bosch and Daimler Will Conduct Public Testing for New Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service in San Jose CA

Bosch and Daimler Will Conduct Public Testing for New Autonomous Ride-Hailing Service in San Jose CA

Daimler is the latest company to start testing autonomous vehicles

Everywhere you look these days automakers scramble to put together their own autonomous vehicle program and ’lead the change.’ Just recently I was reporting on Uber’s desire to begin testing their autonomous Volvos again - and that’s not even a car company. Now, Daimler wants to introduce its own ride-hailing service, and it will use Mercedes-Benz S-Class models as its test beds.

The two German giants plan to deploy the pilot program as early as the first half of next year. The Mercedes S-Class models, which will be equipped with Level 4 or Level 5 automation, will be deployed on the streets of San Jose, California. Daimler Mobility Services is currently working on an app for your mobile phone which will allow you to summon a self-driving S-Class so you too can experience the joys of being driven around without having to put up with a driver asking you annoyingly personal questions.

Keep reading to learn more about Daimler and Bosch’s concerted efforts to bring Mercedes-branded automation to the streets of California

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Mercedes Previews Future City Driving with Vision URBANETIC Concept

Mercedes Previews Future City Driving with Vision URBANETIC Concept

A tech-heavy look to the future

Auto show season is creeping up, and that means the concepts are starting to roll on out. One of the first out the gates is this new all-electric, fully autonomous, highly customizable transportation bubble from Mercedes-Benz Vans, which offers highly intelligent conveyance for not only people, but goods and cargo as well.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes Vision Urbanetic Concept.

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The Mercedes S-Class Family Grows with the Addition of the S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

The Mercedes S-Class Family Grows with the Addition of the S 560 e Plug-in Hybrid

More range, more horsepower, ultimate luxury - what isn’t to love about the S 560 e?

When the W222, sixth-gen Mercedes S-Class came to the market in 2013, it sat in a niche that was completely void of any real competition. But, after just a few years that changed, with long-time rival BMW introducing the new 7 Series and GM’s luxury division, Cadillac, introducing the full-size CT6 to the market. The S-Class was already competitive enough to hold its own in the full-size luxury segment and was even praised for its superior ride quality, seemingly effortless acceleration, and all of that fancy tech that brought it one step closer to being a true-to-life spaceship on wheels. With the new E-Class coming before this mid-cycle update, Merc had a lot of new tech on its hands, and you certainly can’t have a lesser model sporting better features, so this was the icing on the cake and triggered Mercedes to revamp the S-Class in time for 2018. Now that we’re approaching the holiday season and the new year, Mercedes saw fit to introduce the newest member of the S-Class family: The S 560 e – a plug-in hybrid that promises to be a huge improvement over the outgoing model.

So, now that we’re looking at the facelifted S-Class hybrid, it’s important to note that it also comes with a new name. Previously known as the S550 Plug-in Hybrid, the 2018 model will now go by the nomenclature of S560 e Plug-in Hybrid. Highlights of the facelifted model include an increase in system output of more than 50 horsepower, increased all-electric range thanks to a revised battery, relocated electric components, and increased luggage room in the rear. An ECO assist feature will help you drive more efficiently, while pre-entry climate control will have the temperature just right before you even sit down inside the vehicle. I guess that’s pretty commendable and right in line with what you should expect for a car of this stature. With that said, let’s take a closer look at what kind of improvements the revised hybrid brings to the market. Something tells me, you might want to consider trading in that old plug-in for a new one, but we’ll see.

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Mercedes Says its Future Autonomous Cars will Prioritize Life of Passengers over Pedestrians

Mercedes Says its Future Autonomous Cars will Prioritize Life of Passengers over Pedestrians

Apparently owning a Mercedes means your life is more important

Have you ever heard of the “Trolley Problem?” Well, basically, it’s a Philosophical question that asks you to imagine that you’re riding on a runaway trolley. Up ahead there are five workers on the track. You can’t stop the trolley, but you can use the track interchange up ahead to divert the trolley onto a different track. The moral dilemma, however, is that there is one lonely worker on the second track. So, do you divert the trolley and kill one worker, or do you stay on the same track and kill five? It’s a tough question because either way there is death, but it’s up to you to choose how much. This question goes all the way back to the Mid-1960s, but with self-driving cars a hop, skip, and a jump away from becoming a reality, that question has become excessively relevant again: Should a self-driving car prioritize passengers or pedestrians in the event of an unavoidable accident? So far Manufacturers have avoided the question like the black plague for obvious controversial reasons, but Mercedes, on the other hand, has recently given an answer to this question, and you might not like it.

Speaking to Car and Driver at the Paris Auto Show, Mercedes’ Manager of Driver Assistance Systems and Active Safety – Christoph von Hugo – said that future autonomous cars from Mercedes (level 4 and level 5) will prioritize its passengers over pedestrians on the road, saying, “If you know you can save at least one person, at least save that one. Save the one in the car. If all you know for sure is that one death can be prevented, then that’s your first priority.”

I don’t need to tell you why manufacturers have constantly avoided this question – the controversy is out of this world regardless of your answer. Either way, it’s bad PR for your company as life is lost. But, what Hugo is saying is that no matter the circumstances – even if it’s a single mother pushing a three-seat stroller with infant triplets crosses into your path – your 2027 Mercedes S-Class will nail that woman and her three children so that you can live. That’s pretty ballsy, even for a brand like Mercedes.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.

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Study Shows that Mercedes and Infiniti Owners are the Most Interested in Self-Driving Cars

Study Shows that Mercedes and Infiniti Owners are the Most Interested in Self-Driving Cars

The results are pretty well defined.

When it comes to autonomous or “self-driving” cars, the genie really can’t be put back into the bottle. They are coming at some point in the future, whether we like it or not. And, a recent survey done by MaritzCX, has provided us with an interesting take on how people actually feel about them. Based out of Lehi, Utah, MaritzCX surveyed 12,353 vehicle owners between the months of May and August of this year. Of which, 94 percent (about 11,611 people) admit that they are aware that self-driving cars are coming, but nearly half of those surveyed – 48 percent – have little to no interest in actually owning one.

What’s more, is the fact that the study shows people who own luxury vehicles are the most interested in owning autonomous cars. At the top of the list was Mercedes and Infiniti owners, with 27 percent of Mercedes and Infiniti owners showing interest in owning a self-driving car. Toyota, Chevy, Honda, and Ford fill in the middle with 20 to 22 percent of owners showing interest in self-driving cars. Only 16 percent of BMW owners are interested while Jeep and Ram owners are the least interested, with just 9 and 7 percent of owners interested in the technology.

Shawn St. Clair, the survey author and Global Syndication Director at MaritzCX, said, “The luxury-vehicle owners are more willing to accept this technology because they believe safety would be much better in these types of vehicles. If you’re interested in doing some off-roading in a Jeep or a Ram, you’re not interested in an autonomous vehicle.”

Of course, it makes complete sense that those who prefer Jeep or Ram-branded vehicles aren’t looking forward to self-driving technology. There’s nothing fun about letting a vehicle drive itself period, let alone off road. With Mercedes and Infiniti at the top of the list, it still leaves a question or two to be answered. For instance, is it just the feeling of safety that entices luxury car owners to be interested in self-driving technology? Also, why is BMW so far down on the list? Keep reading to dive into that a little deeper.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Truck Rolls Down The Autobahn

Mercedes-Benz’s Self-Driving Truck Rolls Down The Autobahn

Mercedes-Benz has completed landmark testing in its home country of Germany thanks to its cutting-edge automated driving system called Highway Pilot and its standard production Actros transport truck.

Yep, the self-driving truck just completed the nine-mile journey between Denkendorf and Stuttgart while piloting itself down the autobahn. This test is the latest feather in Mercedes’ hat of automated driving technologies it is pioneering for the commercial trucking sector.

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Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Truck Rolls Down The Autobahn

Mercedes-Benz’s Self-Driving Truck Rolls Down The Autobahn

Mercedes-Benz has completed landmark testing in its home country of Germany thanks to its cutting-edge automated driving system called Highway Pilot and its standard production Actros transport truck.

Yep, the self-driving truck just completed the nine-mile journey between Denkendorf and Stuttgart while piloting itself down the autobahn. This test is the latest feather in Mercedes’ hat of automated driving technologies it is pioneering for the commercial trucking sector.

You may recall Mercedes’ announcement of its Highway Pilot system, found both on the Actros Future Truck 2025 in Germany and the Freightliner Inspiration Truck in the U.S. Both trucks employ the same type hardware and software that allows the truck to pilot itself down monotonous stretches of road. This in turn keeps the driver from becoming prematurely fatigued, leading to a more enjoyable experience for the driver and safer roads for everyone. During more technical portions of roads, like with construction or urban environments, the human driver takes over.

Now the Highway Pilot system gets one step closer to being production ready. This test, conducted with a production-style truck, demonstrated the system’s late development stage. Unlike this test truck, both the Inspiration Truck and Actros Future Truck 2025 are equipped with swiveling driver seats and integrated tablet computers that allow drivers to complete other tasks while underway with the Highway Pilot. They are designed to be “Stage 3” automated vehicles that allow the driver to leave the driving completely to the vehicle.

At this point, the Actros with Highway Pilot is rated a “Stage 2” automated vehicle, meaning the driver must maintain awareness of the road at all times. Its status will likely change with time and further testing, but for now, Mercedes truly has an automated transport truck that will likely revolutionize the trucking industry.

Continue reading for the full story.

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