SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – German automaker Daimler AG and auto supplier Bosch Corp [ROBSCJ.UL] will deploy self-driving taxis in California’s Silicon Valley region next year as part of a test program of vehicles designed for city driving, the two companies said on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: The Mercedes-Benz F015 Luxury in Motion autonomous concept car is shown on stage during the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

The world’s largest maker of premium cars and biggest automotive supplier gave few details about their robo-taxi program, described as a passenger shuttle service, and did not reveal which city would host it. Negotiations with the municipality within the sprawling technology hub of Silicon Valley were still underway, they said on a conference call with journalists.

Global automakers, suppliers and tech companies like Alphabet’s Waymo and Uber [UBER.UL] are pouring resources into the development of autonomous driving systems and launching networks of test fleets around the globe aimed at pushing the technology forward.

The extremely complex challenges of self-driving, and the expense of research and development, has led to a host of partnerships between automakers, suppliers and others.

Bosch and Daimler, with its passenger car brand Mercedes-Benz, first joined forces in a self-driving alliance in April 2017, with teams from both companies working together in Stuttgart and Silicon Valley.

Executives from the companies would not comment on the potential size of the pilot program, nor how many vehicles would be…

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