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Daimler, Uber Sign Deal For Autonomous Cars From Mercedes-Benz

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【Summary】Daimler and Uber have partnered to add autonomous vehicles from Mercedes-Benz into the ride-sharing company’s fleet of cars.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Feb 02, 2017 5:20 PM PT
Daimler, Uber Sign Deal For Autonomous Cars From Mercedes-Benz

Automakers and companies are looking to team up to make autonomous cars more accessible. And Uber is one of a handful of ride-sharing companies out there that is rapidly working on putting users in the seat of an autonomous vehicle. The technology company's latest move to expedite the process has Uber teaming with Daimler add Mercedes-Benz's self-driving cars to its fleet. 

Mercedes-Benz Provides The Autonomy 

In a statement earlier this week, Uber announced its new partnership with the automotive company. "In the coming years, Daimler has planned to introduce and operate their own self-driving cars on Uber's ridesharing network," wrote Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in the statement. The new plan has Mercedes-Benz adding its self-driving cars into the technology company's fleet of vehicles. 

While Uber didn't disclose its timeline, the move to partner with an automotive company is an interesting one. Daimler, as Automotive News points out, is the first company that Uber has joined forces with as it looks to come out with a platform that other manufacturers can use for their own autonomous vehicles. 

Teaming up with Daimler is also a confusing partnership, as Uber teamed up with Volvo in the summer of last year to work on self-driving vehicles. As Volvo's statement last year said, "the two companies have signed an agreement to establish a joint project that will develop new base vehicles that will be able to incorporate the latest developments in AD technologies, up to and including fully autonomous driverless cars." 

A Perfect Match

The new deal though, differs from the one with Volvo, as Uber, as Automotive News reports, will not own or manage the self-driving cars from Mercedes-Benz. The technology company will also not lend a hand at the R&D involved with making the autonomous technology. 

Towards the end of last year, Uber released its fleet of 14 self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, PA. The vehicles, which were equipped with an advanced radar systems, a host of cameras, and various components ferried users around, were based on Ford Fusions. 

So why would Uber now team up with Daimler? Well according to Kalanick, it's all about the automotive company's experience. "Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars – and in fact, making cars is really hard," he said. 

The partnership, for Daimler, might also prove to be a fruitful one as the German automotive company looks to build upon its mobility plan and services. In a statement, Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said, "as the inventor of the automobile, Daimler aims to be a leader in autonomous driving – one of the fascinating aspects of reinventing mobility." 

This is Daimler's second entrance into the vehicle-sharing segment. The German automotive company has its own car-sharing service, car2go, which allows users to borrow a vehicle for a specific amount of time. In a recent move to become more luxurious, car2go announced that it would get a few vehicles from Mercedes-Benz for members in North America.  

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