Germany's oldest automaker wants to challenge Uber

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Germany's oldest automaker doesn't just want to become the Uber of something. It now actually wants to be Uber, or at least Uber XL.

Reuters reports that Daimler, maker of Mercedes, is considering launching an on-demand limo service using driverless cars.

"This is a concrete development goal of ours," CEO Dieter Zetsche told the news service on the sidelines of a Mercedes-Benz event on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show.


Fleets of autonomous vehicles would serve people who don't want to own a car but still desire "premium transportation services," like limousines. Zetsche did not say where the service would first run. A Daimler rep did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Daimler already runs car-sharing service car2go, similar to Zipcar, which lets users find parked rental cars nearby.

"It would be even more convenient if the car came to you autonomously," Zetsche told Reuters. "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 has already prototyped an autonomous sedan…

And truck:

They also own a high-definition mapping service, HERE, and a taxi service not dissimilar to Uber, called MyTaxi, which allows customers to hail a cab on their smartphones.


Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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