Autonomous Vehicles

Published on September 30th, 2015 | by Cynthia Shahan


Mercedes-Benz Plans To Establish Driverless Limo Service

September 30th, 2015 by  

Not to be left behind Silicon Valley companies like Uber and Google, Mercedes-Benz chooses not to rest on its past laurels or live only in the legend of being Germany’s oldest carmaker. Rather Mercedes-Benz is modernizing its fleets with some plans for autonomous vehicles that one can summon on demand. Mercedes-Benz plans to establish a driverless limo service.

Driverless cars are coming into being, and Dieter Zetsche, the CEO of Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, has explained to Reuters (h/t Quartz) a bit more regarding its continuing efforts for modern life. Their robotic limousine is “a concrete development goal.” Daimler already owns Car2Go, a mobile car rental service. It is operating as a futuristic self-driving Mercedes-Benz prototype.


When today’s babies and toddlers are adult drivers, fully autonomous cars are expected to hit roads (~2025), according to a recent report from Boston Consulting Group. Assuming that is true, what will follow are driverless taxi services much (~35%) cheaper than those with drivers. As with the elevator operator, I wonder, will taxi drivers become extinct at that time. Human drivers are expected become more of backseat drivers in the future as modern car designers plan the future — for safety’s sake as well as convenience.

So many companies — such as BMW (which operates another carsharing service called DriveNow), and some believe even Apple — are going to take part in bringing us this future. Mercedes-Benz will most probably keep on with its “more luxurious and privacy-conducive vehicle,” even in such a transition.

Speaking to the future, Nicholas Brown points out, “the Concept IAA PHEV (a favorite category for Mercedes these days) is equipped with sensors and modules for autonomous driving and communication. This all sounds very futuristic, but what sounds futuristic now might just be another standard feature later!”

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is a Mother, an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropology Studies, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.

  • O[b]ama

    If you Google-Map “World Transportation Center” you will see the geographic location where America’s new self-driving-car system begins.

  • eveee

    Come to think of it, we do already have “driverless”, but not for cars. For airplanes. Commercial flights routinely use autopilot. They can even land that way, but pilots take over for landings.

    Seems to me thats a bit closer to the model of “driverless” than a literal interpretation.

    The whole shared vehicle concept really means some responsibility will still be the passengers. But, presumably, there will still be private transportation.

    • Foersom

      Also for metro trains there are driverless systems. E.g. the metro in Copenhagen DK is driverless, and there are many other grade 4 (full automatic) driverless metro train systems.

      • eveee

        Good point. But steering should be easier on a train. 🙂 You would think it would be easy, but operators have to stay awake to avoid collisions so the automatic operation is important. And trains take a long time to stop.

  • eveee

    So presumably, they will know not to go forward if there is a pedestrian in their way. Just how will that work when pedestrians know all auto traffic stops when they walk in front of it.
    Who is liable in a driverless traffic accident? Who pays insurance?
    Sorry, this whole drive less thing is not well thought out.

    In the real world, software and technology is made by humans. Humans make mistakes. Driver assistance is a good thing.

    The reality is that humans work with technology and compensate for its shortcomings.

    Perhaps the concept would make more sense with a passenger over ride. If nothing else, passengers will have to contend with accidents caused by other drivers. The technology may not work after an accident.

    As it is, navigation has frequent errors and misgivings. That will be needed to go with driverless technology. Since navigation itself is flawed, there needs to be some significant work done there.

    Just a few of the many eventualities that must be dealt with. And a few of the reasons why absolute driverless is probably not the way this technology will work.

    • Ronald Brakels

      The self driving vehicles will have people inside them who will do this when people step in front of them:

      • Bob_Wallace

        And I thought they were going to implement ‘catch and toss’ technology….

        • eveee

          I think you are thinking of baseball. Or maybe trains with cow catchers.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Cowcatchers were pretty hard on the cow, getting bashed by solid steel at 60 MPH. (They just kept the carcass off the tracks.)

            I’m thinking of a padded hand that reaches out and gently plucks the offending human from the path of the oncoming car.

            Then tosses them free of the street.

            It’s an improvement over cowcatchers because it wouldn’t leave stains all over the vehicle.

          • eveee

            Or the streets. 🙂 There must be a patent somewhere.

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