Uber opens its ride-sharing network to self-driving Daimlers
Both Daimler and Uber have been pretty active in the autonomous vehicle space, each conducting trials of their self-driving tech. The pair has now joined forces with the aim of speeding things up, with Daimler to deploy its autonomous vehicles on Uber's ride-sharing network in the relatively near future.
Uber has been making waves in the autonomous vehicle arena (just ask California's DMV who banned one of its trials in December), but an automobile manufacturer it is not. CEO Travis Kalanick conceded as much today in a blog post explaining the motivation behind the new partnership. The company has instead relied on modified Volvo XC90s and subsidiary Otto's self-driving trucks to put its autonomous tech to the test.
Daimler, on the other hand, has been in the car-building game for more than a century, and has also shown eagerness to move with the times. Its Mercedes-Benz trucks have been used in a number of self-driving trials, while its Mercedes E-Class vehicles were the first production cars to be approved for autonomous testing on Nevada's public roads.
So in joining forces, the pair hope to combine Uber's ride-sharing expertise with Daimler's manufacturing know-how. But rather than the auto-manufacturer handing the keys over to Uber, as Volvo did, it will instead operate the vehicles itself, pointing to a future where autonomous vehicle makers can deploy their machines on an already established global ride-sharing network, rather than having to build one up themselves.
The announcement is a little vague on when we can expect to see Daimler vehicles roll out onto Uber's network, saying only that it will happen "in the coming years."