- Daily Zen
All major automobile manufacturers are concentrating on developing this technology in the most efficient manner to stand out in the market. Ride-hailing apps plan to use autonomous cars to not only cut down the cost of manual labor but it will also avoid accidents caused due to human errors. One of the most popular cab services on a global scale is Uber with annual revenue of almost $3 billion in 2016. The parent company of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler, showed interest in collaborating with Uber to bring out self-driving cabs on the roads. Such cabs will be more fuel efficient than conventional cars and will also reduce traffic congestion. On Tuesday the Uber CEO Travis Kalanick officially announced the Uber Mercedes partnership through a blog post.
This partnership portrays that Uber is not keen on manufacturing automobiles anywhere in near future. But Mercedes-Benz is planning to introduce a network of self-driving cars which one can book through the Uber app. Critics believe that this might prove to be an innovative step in the evolution of autonomous technology. Automobile manufacturers are looking forward to developing autonomous systems in their cars to avoid road mishaps that take place due to human errors. Despite this development, Uber will not annul its regular ride-hailing services. The autonomous cab will be an addition to its existing services which include UberPOOL, UberCHOPPER, etc.
The Uber Mercedes partnership aims to develop the means of transportation where an individual can simply hire a self-driving car when the need arises. He need not invest in such advanced technology. Also, a majority of the self-driving cars will be owned by car companies and transportation networks. The partnership comes as a surprise as Daimler and Uber have been intense competitors. The deal between them marks a departure of this competitive rivalry. In relation to the deal, Kalanick stated in his blog post that car manufacturers like Mercedes play a crucial part in their business as Uber has zero experience in making cars.
The Uber Mercedes partnership is different than that between Uber and Volvo. Uber and Volvo had collaborated to work together on the autonomous technology. The self-driving cars in this deal will be owned and operated by Daimler. The cars to pick up and drop off passengers will be Mercedes-Benz sedans which will operate using Uber’s network. Initially, the rumors for Uber’s interest in Daimler’s self-driving cars had come up early last year. Both the companies will not share technology but will individually work on their self-driving research and development. This kind of network will mostly launch first in the U.S. and Europe. Later on, it will roll out to China and other such emerging markets for autonomous cars. Both the parties involved refused to reveal financial details of the deal or give an estimated timeline.