Uber has ordered a fleet of 1,00,000 Mercedes S-Class cars to fulfil its interest in autonomous driving vehicles. These vehicles are expected to be in public not before 2020. 

2014 Mercedes S-Class Diesel Review
The Mercedes S-Class plans to go fully automatic by 2020

Uber has always been very public about its interest in self-driving cars. A few days back, a news report revealed about Uber placing an order for 1,00,000 Mercedes S-Class cars with Daimler. This order could cost Uber around 10 billion euros, or $11.3 billion (Rs. 75000 crores). But one cannot ignore the drastic savings on its biggest cost – drivers, if it is able to include self-driving cars into its fleet.

An autonomous vehicle can park itself, automatically maintain a safe distance from other cars, and can even handle traffic on its own. But the S-Class vehicles are not self-driving yet (although they do have some autonomous features). Many German automakers, including Volkswagen’s Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are working on their own autonomous vehicles. None of them have actually launched a totally autonomous vehicle yet. But we cannot deny, we’re seeing more and more self-driving features included with new models.

Since 2009 when Uber was launched, it insists that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees and that its app simply connects them to potential clients. The company’s business idea relies on drivers using their own personal vehicles, or ones leased from for-hire vehicle companies. If Uber buys a fleet of cars, its claims of being a technology company rather than a transportation company could become controversial.

With Google’s recent push to make autonomous cars legal if they pass safety tests, and now a huge step from Uber on its driver-less plans, looks like the idea of autonomous vehicles is already being well accepted and appreciated. Mercedes has said that fully autonomous S-Class vehicles won’t be ready until 2020 which is also the year that many analysts say we should begin to see driver-less cars running in public. So looks like Uber will still have to hire actual human drivers to keep its business running for now.

Uber Orders 1 Lakh Units Of Mercedes S-Class

– Uber has placed an order for 1,00,000 Mercedes S-Class cars
– Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are working on self-driving cars
– Uber will continue to hire drivers till it switches to driverless cars

uber taxi
Uber will be able to save cost on drivers by switching to autonomous cars