Uber may have just purchased an armada of Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousines. The estimated number is of over 100,000 units. Reuters reported that both companies told the German publication Manager Magazin that an order had been made by Uber for “at least” 100,000 S-Class vehicles. But none of them have publically confirmed the move.
If Uber did in fact make the purchase, the cost might have risen to a whopping $9.6 billion. The company is currently valued at $62 billion and they would use the car to extend the business worldwide. The reports seem to be quite unlikely since the service is based on the driver’s own cars.
But Uber announced its intentions on investing in autonomous cars. In 2013, Mercedes staged a successful 103-kilometer drive along a legendary route, following in Bertha Benz’ footsteps, in Germany, with very little driver’s intervention, using an S500, might have convinced the company.
As much as Uber shows interest for the self-driving automobiles, it has only gone as far as applying emergency braking, keeping the lane, preventing rear-end collisions and self-parking, as the autonomous driving has not even been regulated yet. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is though pursuing to have federal rules regarding autonomous vehicles in place within 6 months.
The Mercedes endeavor on self-driving vehicles is widely known, as the premium car maker has been testing autonomous concepts and the most intelligent business limousine, the E-Class, with self-driving capabilities. But a fully automated vehicle is not expected until 2020.