Daimler & Bosch Give Up On Their Robotaxi Dreams

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Daimler and Bosch are giving up on their robotaxi partnership, a joint project called Athena, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports. The article notes that both companies confirmed the news with Süddeutsche Zeitung and that they are still discussing bringing the entire project to an end. Once the end has been finalized, the two companies will part ways.

In 2018, the two companies teamed up to create a car that would drive people without a driver — you may have heard of this concept before. They named the project Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom, art, and war. The plan was for engineers and programmers from both companies to collaborate, and presumably to catch up to Tesla’s apparent lead in this industry. They didn’t want to be left behind by Elon Musk and Tesla as they were with e-mobility.

Daimler stated that after “intensive testing and by mutual agreement as best as possible,” the two companies agreed to “focus on their individual development paths in the future in the highly complex development environment of fully automated and driverless driving in an urban environment.”

Bosch added, “The time and further details are currently being discussed.”

Sources close to the issue told Süddeutsche Zeitung that the cooperation was “dead” weeks ago. At Daimler, employees from the Robotaxi partnership had already been moved to other teams and were working on new projects. Bosch, a supplier of both software and hardware to other automakers, pointed out that the end of Athena wasn’t as painful for it as it was for Daimler.

“For us this is just a transition to the next phase. We will continue to step on the gas with highly automated driving,” Bosch managing director Harald Kröger said. Kröger admitted that the challenge of developing robotic taxies for urban traffic was “bigger than many would have thought.” The company is certain that autonomous driving functions will initially go into series production elsewhere — such as logistics or parking garages. In this area, Bosch and Daimler are collaborating on a pilot project and the developed technology is expected to go into series production at Stuttgart Airport.

Featured image courtesy of Bosch

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

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