Uber And Mercedes-Benz’s Parent Company Partner Up On Self-Driving Cars

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Uber Reportedly Loses Over $1 Billion In First Half Of 2016

The logo of the ride sharing service Uber is seen in front of its headquarters on August 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Uber’s head of finance Gautam Gupta is reported to have told investors in a conference call that the company had lost $1.27 billion in the first half of 2016. The ride sharing company lost an estimated $520 million in the first quarter and $720 million in the second quarter.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Transportation network company Uber and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, has announced a partnership to collaborate on self-driving cars in the future. The announcement from the two companies happened last Thursday.

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Uber and Daimler partnership. The aim of the partnership is to manufacture self-driving vehicles that run on the ride-hailing company’s network. CEO Travis Kalanick didn’t exactly give a timeline of the project but did mention that the program will be up and running "in the coming years" in a statement that announced the collaboration.

Kalanick’s company is one of many aggressively pushing for the development of self-driving vehicles. Their vision is to see driverless cars on the major city streets picking up and dropping off passengers.

"By opening up the Uber platform to Daimler, we can get to the future faster than going it alone," said Kalanick. He further added, "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."

Kalanick’s stated that his company does not have any plans to go into the car manufacturing business after having seen how tedious the process is of designing and building cars at a factory. The factory he was referring to is obviously Daimler’s in Stuttgart, Germany which he had visited back in the summer of 2016.

An example of the potential that the partnership has is the chassis used on Mercedes-Benz’s Generation EQ concept car. It is one that could be easily fitted with autonomous drive systems that can be developed by Mercedes-Benz for the ride-hailing service company’s network.

Uber has already launched three self-driving experiments in the past. The first experiment happened in Pittsburgh with two dozen Ford Focus vehicles with self-driving capabilities. Then came another experiment in San Francisco. The third was in Phoenix after the San Francisco experiment was stopped due to a lack of a permit to operate.