Autonomous taxis become a rough ride for Europe

As recently as March, Daimler promised to put 10,000 autonomous taxis on the streets by 2021. This week, however, Daimler Chairman Ola Kallenius announced that the company was making a “reality check” on the project and focusing on self-driving long-haul trucks instead.

It’s fine that self-driving cabs aren’t coming as fast as some expected — and it’s even better that Silicon Valley-style big talk appears to be going out of fashion.

Kallenius’s “reality check” has some solid business reasons: Daimler is cutting costs and can’t commit to a large, capital-intensive project without a clear idea of what kind of first-mover advantage it might confer. But mostly, it comes because of a long-obvious technical problem.