Ride-share app Uber has continued its push towards autonomous driving by announcing a partnership with Germany’s Daimler, the maker of the luxury Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks. In the coming years, Daimler plans to incorporate its own self-driving Mercedes-Benz into Uber's growing fleet of autonomous vehicles.
The move is in line with the company’s goal to eventually eliminate the human element from their service. Relying on autonomous vehicles instead of employing drivers will also reduce their biggest expense: wages.
It also suggests Uber has realized buying or building its own self-driving cars may not be the best long term business approach. But by adding an automaker their platform they eliminate production and purchasing costs.
But that option is not completely off the table for ride-share giant.
"Auto manufacturers like Daimler are crucial to our strategy because Uber has no experience making cars — and in fact, making cars is really hard," Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said in a blog post.
They also have a $300M deal with Volvo in place to develop custom vehicles for the service based on the Swedish brand’s platform architecture.