German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz recently revealed that it is planning to develop its own on-demand, self-driving car service, specifically using limousines as the vehicle of choice.
It goes without saying that this move will be putting them head to head with the search engine giant Google and app-based taxi service Uber.
Autonomous vehicles are definitely becoming a battleground between carmakers and tech firms, with all of them trying to get a head start in the market.
Google and Baidu are amongst the first ones to start the development of such cars, and they are clearly ahead of the curve by having legislation permitting them to test autonomous vehicles in at least 4 US states.
Mercedes has already built a prototype of the self-driving car, named F 015. In August, BMW, Audi and other German carmakers acquired Nokia’s digital mapping business for $3.2 billion.
The company also bought two smartphone applications last year that will help them facilitate the users for taxi-hailing services.
Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche said: “I think you don’t need too much imagination to see that by combining these strengths, attractive business models are possible in the future.”
Google announced earlier this year that its self-driving car had been involved in 13 accidents over a period of 6 years.