Uber Partners with Automaker to Produce Autonomous Technology
Feb. 2, 2017—Uber announced a partnership with Daimler—the parent company of Mercedes-Benz—in developing self-driving technology.
This move is notable because Uber had previously indicated plans to build its own autonomous technology, which Volvo had begun to implement into its vehicles. This is new partnership with Daimler is coming on the heels of Uber running into trouble with its own self-driving fleet, and will mark a departure from Volvo, as Daimler won't be using Uber's autonomous software.
Under the terms of the cooperation, Daimler plans to introduce self-driving vehicles on Uber's global ridesharing network in the coming years. Mercedes-Benz will retain ownership of vehicles that it develops and operate them using Uber’s dispatch platform to connect riders with its vehicles.
“We can combine Uber’s global ridesharing network with the world-class vehicles of companies like Daimler,” CEO Travis Kalanick wrote in a blog post.
Uber spokeswoman Momo Zhou confirmed the company is open to allowing other automakers to also operate their own automated vehicles on its platform.
Uber has already assembled a self-driving engineering group, which is testing self-driving vehicles on U.S. roads. Uber's Otto division is also working on self-driving trucks.