Mercedes is eyeing its own limo service powered by a fleet of self-driving cars.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche revealed that the German automaker is investigating the business potential of offering in-demand limousine services with driverless cars. Mercedes is looking at setting up large fleets of self-driving cars that would cater to a customer base looking for premium transportation services without having to own a vehicle. Currently, Daimler owns car-sharing service car2go that allows subscribers to locate and rent a vehicle nearby from a fleet of Daimler-owned vehicles through a smartphone. Naturally, it believes the service would be more convenient if the vehicle came to the user autonomously.
Zetsche added that the combination of car rental services and self-driving cars broadens business opportunities for the automaker and sees it as an attractive business model for the future. The company has already developed a prototype self-driving car (seen above). In August 2013, Mercedes conducted a test with an S-Class that drove autonomously between Mannheim and Pforzheim.
Competitor BMW currently operates the DriveNow car-sharing service and will likely keep an eye on Mercedes-Benz’s plans to expand into a driverless fleet service.
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