Daimler and Uber team up to bring more self-driving cars to the road

  • 01-Feb-2017 10:26 EST
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Image courtesy of Uber.

Daimler and Uber announce the companies signed an agreement to cooperate on the supply and operation of self-driving vehicles. Under the agreement, Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles for use on Uber’s global ridesharing network in the coming years. Daimler is the first auto company to join with Uber as it opens its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving vehicles, the announcement claims.

Each company claims it will benefit from the other’s capabilities in research and development of automated driving and network operations, according to the January 31 announcement.

With its new corporate strategy titled CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared & Services, and Electric), Daimler's Mercedes-Benz said it is marking out the cornerstones for its future and the reshaping of mobility. Daimler added that the agreement with Uber is the automaker's next step into the future of shared and autonomous driving.

According to Daimler, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the world’s first series-production vehicle to be awarded a test license for autonomous driving in Nevada in the U.S. And with its Highway Pilot system, Daimler Trucks is now the world’s first truck manufacturer with plans to develop an autonomous driving system for use in commercial vehicles.

“As the inventor of the automobile, Daimler aims to be a leader in autonomous driving—one of the most fascinating aspects of reinventing mobility,” said Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Mobility service providers offer an ideal platform for autonomous driving technology and Uber is a leading mobility platform company.”

Meanwhile, Uber’s Advanced Technology Group is testing self-driving vehicles on the road in the U.S. Uber’s Otto Division also is developing self-driving trucks. Uber currently has experience operating ridesharing and delivery networks across 74 countries.

“Self-driving technology holds the promise of creating cities that are safer, cleaner and more accessible," Travis Kalanick, CEO and Co-Founder of Uber, said in a statement. "By combining Daimler’s and Uber’s technological strengths, more people can get access to reliable transportation at the push of a button.”

Last year, Uber partnered with Volvo to develop next-generation autonomous driving (AD) cars eventually achieving full SAE Level-5 standard (no steering wheel or controls) autonomy (see http://articles.sae.org/14982/).

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