Daimler is the first auto firm to join with Uber.
Uber has taken another step closer to the self-driving future, partnering with German automaker Daimler to add self-driving Mercedes-Benz vehicles to its fleet.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the agreement, under which Daimler plans to introduce and operate self-driving cars on Uber’s ridesharing network in the coming years.
Daimler is the first auto firm to join with Uber as it opens up its platform for manufacturers to launch their own self-driving cars.
Uber and Daimler will benefit from their respective capabilities in research and development of autonomous driving and network operations.
Daimler chairman of the board of management Dieter Zetsche said mobility service providers offer an ideal platform for autonomous driving technology and Uber is a leading mobility platform company.
“The real revolution in future mobility lies in intelligently linking the four major trends
we call CASE: connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing and electric mobility. And we will certainly be the driver of these changes.”
Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick said the combination of Daimler’s and Uber’s technological strengths allows more people to get access to reliable transportation at the push of a button.
“Self-driving technology holds the promise of creating cities that are safer, cleaner and more accessible. But we can’t get to that future alone. That’s why we’re opening up the Uber platform to auto manufacturers like Daimler.”
Kalanick said in a blogpost that auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to Uber’s strategy because the company has no experience making cars.
The ride hailing firm has assembled a self-driving engineering group with its Advanced Technology Group, which is testing self-driving vehicles on US roads.
The company’s Otto division is also working on self-driving trucks. Uber runs a ridesharing and delivery network across 74 countries.
Apart from Daimler, Uber is also working with Volvo and Ford on autonomous vehicles for the ridesharing network.