WATCH: BMW, Mercedes team-up on self-driving cars

<i>Image: iStock</i>
<i>Image: iStock</i>

Some 1,200 developers at BMW and Daimler will team up to develop automated driving technology, the companies said on Thursday, the latest automakers forced to pool their development resources at a time of shrinking margins.

The BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to locate the headquarters of their proposed global mobility company in Berlin.

The two partners are purposely seeking to establish this innovative mobility services provider outside of their respective Group structures in the dynamic environment of Germany’s capital city. At the same time, the globally positioned joint venture will maintain its international presence as a success factor.

Future sustainability

"Our vision is to create a major global player for seamless and intelligent connected mobility services together. As a hub for creativity and innovation, Berlin is exactly the right location for our plans," according to Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

READ: BMW's next-generation X4 now available in South Africa: We have all the details, prices, and specs

"The future of mobility is being shaped in major cities like Berlin. With the ecosystem we are planning, we will create solutions for tomorrow's urban mobility: intelligent, seamlessly connected and available at the tap of a finger. We believe this will improve quality of life in major cities," explained Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.

Daimler office

                                                                          Image: iStock

Together, the BMW Group and Daimler AG aim to grow this new business model sustainably to enable rapid global scaling of services. The two companies took a further step towards forming their joint venture by officially filing the transaction with the European Commission.

Both automotive manufacturers aim to shape the mobility of the future, so they can offer customers unique experiences and support their partners, such as cities, in achieving sustainable urban mobility.

Transaction has been approved

In filing the application with the European Union, the partners are now addressing the joint venture’s most important market. The transaction has already been filed with the responsible authorities in a number of different countries and, in some cases, has already been approved.

The BMW Group and Daimler AG announced plans to join forces and offer customers a single source for sustainable urban mobility services in March 2018.

                                                                       Image: iStock

By combining these growth areas, the two partners are underlining their ambitions in this future market. The BMW Group and Daimler AG intend to offer their customers a holistic ecosystem of intelligent, seamlessly connected mobility services, available at the tap of a finger.
Subject to examination and approval by the responsible competition authorities, the BMW Group and Daimler AG plan to combine and strategically expand their existing on-demand mobility offering in the areas of CarSharing, Ride-Hailing, Parking, Charging and Multimodality. The two companies will each hold a 50% stake in the joint venture but will remain competitors in their respective core businesses.
The equally-owned joint venture will comprise services in the following areas:
1. Multimodal and On-Demand Mobility with moovel and ReachNow

In total, more than 5 million users will benefit from intelligent and seamless connectivity between different mobility offerings – including booking and payment. The multimodal platform will also offer possible solutions for the challenges of urban private transport, including providing the car as a service.

2. CarSharing with Car2Go and DriveNow

Car2Go and DriveNow operate a total of 20 000 vehicles in 31 major international cities. CarSharing enables better utilisation of vehicles and thus helps reduce the total number of vehicles in cities. More than four million customers already use these CarSharing services.

3. Ride-Hailing with mytaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi and Beat

15.9 million passengers and more than 170 000 drivers are already using the services of mytaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi (all Europe) and Beat (South America). This makes Intelligent Apps one of the leading ride-hailing service providers in both Europe and South America. Innovative products like mytaximatch, which allows you to share your taxi rides and costs with other passengers through a fingertip in the app, significantly contribute to reducing urban traffic problems.

4. Parking with ParkNow and Parkmobile Group/Parkmobile LLC

Ticketless, cashless on-street parking or help reserving and paying for off-street parking in a garage: Parkmobile already reaches a total of more than 25 million customers in Europe and North America and offers digital parking solutions in over 1 000 cities. Innovative digital parking services reduce the time and amount of driving involved in finding a parking space. This reduces traffic significantly, as cars searching for parking spaces currently account for around 30% of road traffic.

5. Charging with ChargeNow and Digital Charging Solutions

Easy access (incl. location, charging and payment) to the world’s largest network of public charging stations with more than 192 000 charging points worldwide. Combined with parking privileges in cities, this will support the expansion of electromobility, by helping people integrate this drive technology more easily into their mobility needs.

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