FRANKFURT — The German carmakers Daimler and BMW said on Thursday that they will merge their car-sharing businesses as they try to compete better with Silicon Valley companies out to upend the traditional automotive industry.
Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, and BMW said they would put their respective mobility services — an array of apps and services that provide transport options for people who may not own cars — into a joint venture in which they will own equal shares.
The alliance is a major departure for BMW and Daimler, longtime rivals for the affections of affluent car buyers. Along with Volkswagen’s Audi division, the pair dominate the global market for luxury vehicles. Still, they are in danger of being overwhelmed by the superior financial firepower of new competitors from the tech world. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, which has invested in autonomous car technology, has a stock market value 10 times Daimler’s.
This is pretty interesting. This is like if McDonalds & Burger King started opening joint restaurants or Coke & Pepsi developing a line of sodas together.
The future of urban transportation, driverless cars, taxi drones etc, interests me very much as somebody who doesn't own a car. I'm always looking for newer, more efficient, cheaper ways to get around town. I'm excited for what's to come and I'm thankful to live in the time where we get to watch this stuff unfold in real time.
Now, if we could just get going on an express travel system between Portland & Seattle, that would truly excite me.