A new partnership has been announced today which will see Daimler self-driving cars operate on Uber’s network. This is the second such partnership for Uber which has already signed a deal with Volvo and now uses its XC90 as its own self-driving car prototype. Uber’s arrangement with Daimler is a bit different than what it has with Volvo, though.
Daimler is going to own and operate its self-driving cars itself and will merely be using Uber’s ride-sharing platform to put them to the test. The ride-sharing company pointed out in a post on its blog that this is the first time that it’s taking on the role of an “open self-driving vehicle platform.”
What this means is that car manufacturers can put their cars on Uber’s network and forget about the rest. This benefits Uber as well since it will continue to grow and play a role in the self-driving car arena. It will enable Uber to explore the potential of self-driving cars properly without having to worry about doing everything itself.
Make no mistake, this is a big shift in strategy for Uber which has previously been co-developing self-driving car technology with Volvo. This partnership shifts all of the technological work involved in making a self-driving car to Daimler while Uber merely provides the platform.
It remains to be seen whether car makers like Ford and GM who are working on autonomous car technology of their own will eventually put their cars on Uber’s network as well. Expect to see Daimler self-driving cars on Uber “in the coming years.”