Uber reportedly purchased at the least one hundred,000 Mercedes Benz S-Courses
Fast recap: journey-sharing behemoth Uber is legendary for connecting passengers with individuals who have their very own automobiles. (Nicely, amongst different issues.) Uber does not personal a fleet of automobiles for would-be drivers to make use of, which makes the truth that the corporate appears to have bought least one hundred,000 Mercedes Benz S-Courses from Daimler all of the extra fascinating. What provides? Germany’s Supervisor Magazin, which broke the story earlier in the present day, was fast to level out one essential similarity between the 2 corporations: they’re each investing closely in making autonomous automobiles a actuality.
In any case, Uber extra-or-much less raided Carnegie Mellon College final yr in quest of its brightest software program engineers. A properly-revered faculty in Pittsburgh might sound an odd goal, however CMU’s Nationwide Robotics Engineering Middle had a shocking focus of technical know-how — simply the type of expertise to assist make automobiles that may “see” and steer him or herself. When all was stated and executed, Uber wound up with roughly forty researchers that have been as soon as a part of an oft-trumpeted partnership with the corporate and the varsity.
Mercedes, however, has been working for a couple of years now to construct autonomous driving know-how into its road-prepared automobiles. The premium S-Class has been capable of park, keep protected distances from different automobiles in tight, cease-and-go visitors with out assistance from a driver. It is potential we might see Uber’s technical expertise construct extra clever methods on prime of Mercedes’ basis, however that requires a degree of entry that a prestigious carmaker would simply draw back from.
That is what makes the variety of automobiles Uber purchased so essential. Promoting one hundred,000 S-Courses in a single go is fairly loopy — that is concerning the variety of S-Courses Mercedes managed to promote in a single yr. Put together for just a bit math: if we assume Uber labored out a candy quantity deal and obtained every automotive for $eighty,000 (steered worth within the US is about $ninety five,000), that works out to an $eight billion price ticket. That is about €7.1 billion, or put one other method, a full eight % of all the cash Daimler made off of Mercedes-Benz automobiles in 2015. Level is, Uber won’t simply be shopping for candy automobiles — it is in all probability making an attempt to purchase some affect and openness.