The advent of ridesharing has caused a disruption in the transport sector with more people embracing the concept of online based ride hailing services and car pooling. More people are leaving their cars at home and hitching a ride with Uber or other ridshare apps. This has left auto makers scrambling to fit in with this new development. By making strategic partnerships with ride-hailing companies and investing in rideshare start-ups, auto makers are joining the movement aimed at decongesting roads. Now, Uber and Daimler, the makers of Mercedes Benz have come to an agreement. This Uber Daimler partnership will see Daimler operating their brand of self-driving cars on Uber’s platform.
According to Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick, this kind of partnerships aimed at introducing self-driving cars is to “further our mission of bringing reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere. They will also help to reduce traffic accidents, which today kill many people a year; free up the huge amount of space currently used to park the world’s billion-plus cars; and cut congestion, which is choking our cities.”
What this means for Uber
By partnering with companies like Hyundai and Daimler, Uber will not be tasked with building self driving cars from the scratch. These auto companies make the cars and debut them on the Uber platform. Uber already has the network needed to push these cars out and use them to offer rides to people. “We can combine Uber’s global ridesharing network with the world-class vehicles of companies like Daimler, so that Uber riders can have a great experience getting around their cities” said Kalanick
What this means for Automakers
By making strategic partnerships with rideshare companies, auto makers like Daimler can get their cars out there quicker. Although Daimler and Uber may not agree on a lot of things, taking advantage of huge platforms like the one Uber is offering is a smart move. People have the luxury of experiencing these cars without actually going to buy one out-rightly. It is also a great sales tactic as well. If people enjoy the rides, they can be persuaded to go out and buy these cars.
These partnerships between rideshare companies and automakers seem to be benefiting all the parties involved. We have seen Lyft and General Motors testing self-driving technology; Uber is working with Hyundai and also acquired OTTO – the self-driving truck company. This Uber Daimler partnership is the latest in a flurry of investments by automakers in rideshare startups that seem to be aimed at convincing consumers to do without owning own cars and embrace rideshare.
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