Mercedes-Benz mulls driverless-limo service
Autonomous fleet is ‘concrete goal’ for company, says Daimler CEO
German auto giant Mercedes-Benz is considering the viability of a driverless limousine business, Reuters reported.
"This is a concrete development goal of ours," said Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche at a Mercedes-Benz prior to the Frankfurt auto show.
Under the plan, Mercedes would build sizeable fleets of autonomous premium cars to supplement its car2go service, which competes with US car-sharing service Uber, through a mobile app that allows users to hire nearby Daimler-owned vehicles.
"It would be even more convenient if the car came to you autonomously," Zetsche said. "And it would be extremely practical if the car2go appeared without needing to be prompted, once my appointment in the calendar had come to an end."
Daimler can make money not only from the cars themselves, but from the software an tools surrounding the service. In August Daimler, BMW and Audi closed a deal to buy Nokia's mapping technology HERE. And in 2014, Daimler acquired cab-hailing app MyTaxi.