German car-makers BMW and Daimler have agreed to combine their forward-looking digital mobility services into a new, co-owned and evenly-split business.
These services will allow users to hail a taxi (either human-driven or automated), book a car from a shared fleet, pay for parking, find a working electric charging station or fuel station and more. We don’t yet know what the new company will be called, but it will offer a single app for its users, through which all of the options can be controlled. Cars from all the brands involved will be available - presumably including Mini.
Storing users’ payment information in a secure wallet within the app will allow other services to be added later in the scheme’s life, like payments for edibles and fuel.
The two giants are also set to combine their efforts on self-driving taxis. Daimler, which owns Mercedes and Smart, will have its own trial operating in California by this time next year. It’s not clear whether this will be rebranded under the new company’s banner.
A Bloomberg report claims that the two companies are getting even friendlier than that. The subject of parts- and platform-sharing has allegedly been tabled, with both sides open to the cost-saving idea. Among the parts shared would be batteries, self-driving technology and entire chassis, but we understand no agreement has been reached yet.
Source: Motor Authority