Daimler and Uber have struck a deal. The ride-hailing giant will use autonomous vehicles provided by the German luxury car manufacturer. The self-driving Mercedes-Benz cars will be introduced into the Uber network "in the coming years" – a more specific timetable was not announced.
The deal fits well with Daimler's CASE strategy – short for Connected, Autonomous, Shared/Services, and Electric. The 2017 Mercedes E-Class, pictured, which has just received a test license for autonomous driving in the U.S. state of Nevada, is a possible candidate for addition to the Uber fleet.
Uber sees autonomous cars as a way to spread its offer of reliable transportation, reduce accidents, free up parking space and cut congestion. However, the company has chosen not to manufacture its own cars. Hence the partnership with OEMs like Daimler.
Other manufacturers are also busy building autonomous taxi capacity. Ford has promised a full fleet by 2021, GM has developed Maven, its own ride-sharing service. Daimler has chosen to partner with an existing ride-sharer.
Uber already has a partnership with Volvo, which involves retrofitting Uber technology into existing Volvo platforms. The Daimler deal will involve the integration of fully autonomous vehicles into the Uber fleet.