German automakers BMW and Daimler have announced that they will invest over 1 billion euros to compete with existing rivals like Uber and other tech firms.
The joint venture aims to shif beyond manufacturing and car sales towards pay-per-minute or pay-per-mile systems. The focus of this venture would be to develop autonomous cars, vehicles which could enable them to capture the taxi market and ride-hailing services.
Daimler’s Car2Go car-sharing brand will be combined with BMW’s DriveNow, ParkNow and ChargeNow businesses, with both carmakers holding 50 percent stake in the venture.
The venture has five strands: REACH NOW, a smartphone-based route management and booking service, CHARGE NOW for electric car charging, FREE NOW for taxi ride-hailing, PARK NOW for parking services and SHARE NOW for car-sharing.
“These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously,” said BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger.
He further added, “The 60 million customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, sustainable ecosystem of car-sharing, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services.”