If you’re walking or driving in San Jose, California, later this year and have the sense that a late model Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedan just made eye contact with rooftop lighted sensors and a quick flash of a signature LED lamp, you could be right. The car could be one of several in a pilot program that will be testing, among other things, its ability to communicate with people and other cars.
German firms Daimler and Bosch partnered on a large-scale autonomous car project starting in 1986. Last month the companies announced a plan to test a ridesharing service in San Jose using autonomous S-Class cars. Riders won’t be charged for the trips, at least not at first. The rides will follow specific routes in the Silicon Valley city.