Uber today announced it has signed a deal to have Daimler supply and operate its own self-driving cars on Uber's ride sharing network services.
"Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars — and in fact, making cars is really hard. This became very clear to me after I visited an auto manufacturing plant and saw how much effort goes into designing, testing and building cars," Travis Kalanick, CEO and co-founder of the peer-to-peer ridesharing service said in a blog. "That's why instead of building them ourselves, we want to partner with the best auto manufacturers in the world."
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Germany's Daimler AG has planned to put out a self-driving car by 2020. Uber also has a partnership with Volvo and integrated its self-driving technology into Volvo XC90s for a pilot program in San Francisco.
By 2035, the number of self-driving vehicles on roads worldwide is expected to grow to 21 million, according to a report from IHS Automotive.
Kalanick said he has been "personally impressed" with Daimler and with the leadership of Daimler's chairman, Dieter Zetsche, whom he said described the business relationship with Uber as "frenemies"
"In fact, we turned out to be great partners," Kalanick said. "By opening up the Uber platform to Daimler, we can get to the future faster than going it alone. It's a future in which our cities and roads will be safer, cleaner and more accessible, and we couldn't be more excited about what's next."
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