A leading German car manufacturer has publicly announced that it has reached an agreement with global ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. to supply the US firm with self-driving vehicles. The collaboration between Daimler and Uber is a statement of intent as they both attempt to establish themselves as leading players in burgeoning industry of autonomous driving, which has been identified as the future of the auto sector.
In a joint statement issued to the press it confirmed Daimler will produce self-driving vehicles for Uber for next number of years. It said, "Under the terms of the cooperation, Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles on Uber’s global ridesharing network in the coming years."
It was further disclosed that Daimler will build and operate self-driving Mercedes-Benz cars to be used by Uber - but the financial details of the agreement have not been made public. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche expressed his delight at the partnership with Uber and outlined his company’s vision is to be a leader in autonomous driving. He said, "As the inventor of the automobile, Daimler aims to be a leader in autonomous driving --one of the most fascinating aspects of reinventing mobility."
Uber has invested significantly in self-driving car technology over the years - and recently faced the threat of legal action from Californian authorities for not adhering to rules on the deployment of the trialing of self-driving cars without a license. It is currently piloting the use of autonomous cars on road in the USA.
Uber co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick believes the technology will provide better and safer cities for residents to live in. He said, "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."
Uber is already working with Sweden-based Volvo Cars to develop self-driving cars for sale by 2021. In a world first, a self-driving truck built by Uber's Otto unit successfully delivered a beer shipment in October.