- Two German auto makers are attempting to link up transport using autonomous cars and app-based services.
- Daimler and BMW are to invest $1.13 billion across five different divisions.
In March 2018, the two companies announced that they would join forces as they look to take on tech giants such as Uber and China's Didi Chuxing.
On Friday they updated the plan, announcing that five separate ventures are to be developed and "meshed" together as the firms attempt to adapt to the changing way in which people move.
"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," said Management Board Chairman of BMW, Harald Kruger in a statement Friday.
"We have a clear vision: 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 and interconnect with the other modes of transport," Kruger added.
The two firms explained what the different divisions will offer:
- REACH NOW
This is an app that will allow users to select their journey and receive various options on how they can get there. So far so standard, but this app will allow customers to book and pay for their travel in one place before they embark on a bike rental, car-share or taxi.
- SHARE NOW
A car-sharing app that allows customers to rent and pay for vehicles using their smartphone. Daimler and BMW say there are currently 20,000 vehicles across 31 cities already using this service and this will now expand in both the variety of vehicles on offer and areas covered.
- PARK NOW
A digital service that will allow users to find, reserve and pay for parking either on-street or in garages. Daimler and BMW estimate that around 30 percent of traffic on a city street is driving around on the hunt for a parking spot.
- FREE NOW
Taxis, private chauffeurs and e-scooters are available on this ride-hailing service. Already in service in Europe and South America with a claimed customer base of 21 million.
- CHARGE NOW
This service will let drivers know where charge points are, if they are free and will also take payment for use. The charging stations are already operational in 25 different countries.
The Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Dieter Zetsche, said in the statement that further cooperation with other companies, "including stakes in start-ups and established players, are also a possible option."