Other automakers will likely follow suit as Uber opens its platform.Daimler has partnered with Uber to launch an autonomous fleet of Mercedes-Benz ride-hailing vehicles.
The German marque is said to be the first automaker to join with Uber as it opens up its platform for manufacturers to introduce their own self-driving cars.
The statement suggests Daimler will utilize its own self-driving technology and operate the fleet independently, in contrast to the autonomous Volvo XC90 crossovers that serve as Uber's own prototype fleet outfitted with custom sensor pods and other modifications.
"Self-driving technology holds the promise of creating cities that are safer, cleaner and more accessible. But we can't get to that future alone," said Uber chief Travis Kalanick. "That's why we're opening up the Uber platform to auto manufacturers like Daimler."
After operating in Pittsburgh for months without incident, Uber's Volvos stirred controversy when the program expanded to San Francisco. Vehicles were allegedly spotted running red lights and violating bike lane rules. California authorities claimed the fleet was operating illegally without proper permits for autonomous prototype vehicles, sparking a legal showdown that terminated the test program in the state.
Opening the platform will apparently give more control to automakers, all of which will presumably attempt to avoid the type of incidents that stirred negative publicity in San Francisco.
Daimler has not announced what vehicles it will use for its autonomous Uber service, though its press release highlights the E-Class as one of the first series-production vehicles to receive a license for autonomous testing in Nevada.