Uber partners with Daimler on self-driving car initiativeBy Shawn Knight
Uber on Tuesday announced a partnership with Daimler that'll see the German automaker develop and deploy its own fleet of self-driving vehicles on Uber's massive ridesharing network.
In revealing the agreement, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said they are excited by the potential for self-driving cars to further their mission of bringing reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere.
Unlike other major technology outfits that seem hell-bent on building their own self-driving vehicles, Kalanick conceded that such work is best left to the experts. He said this became overly apparent after visiting an auto manufacturing plant and seeing first-hand how much effort goes into designing, building and testing cars.
Above all else, however, Kalanick said that by opening up the Uber platform to Daimler, they can get to the future faster than they could if they went at it alone.
While details of the agreement are sparse at this hour, it doesn't appear as though Uber is working exclusively with Daimler. The company's initial wave of self-driving vehicles that hit the streets of Pittsburgh last September were based on Ford's Fusion sedan while the fleet that briefly spent time in San Francisco in December consisted of Volvo XC90 luxury SUVs.
Uber's willingness to work with a variety of automakers instead of stubbornly trying to develop its own branded vehicles and / or autonomous driving software should be applauded. Stick with what you do best and leave everything else to the experts.