Uber and Daimler announced a new partnership on Tuesday that will allow the car company to introduce their line of self-driving cars for Uber. In a blog post, Uber’s CEO explains that Daimler will operate their self-driving cars on Uber’s ride-sharing network.
“We are incredibly excited by the potential for self-driving cars to further our mission of bringing reliable transportation to everyone, everywhere,” Travis Kalanick explained. “They will also help to reduce traffic accidents, which today kill many people a year; free up the huge amount of space currently used to park the world’s billion-plus cars; and cut congestion, which is choking our cities.”
Kalanick explained that he at one point envisioned manufacturing cars for the Uber company. But, after visiting a car manufacturing plant, he realized that it was “really hard”. So instead of building cars, Uber decided to partner with auto manufacturers. “We can combine Uber’s global ridesharing network with the world-class vehicles of companies like Daimler so that Uber riders can have a great experience getting around their cities.”
This news comes after #DeleteUber went viral over the weekend following the company’s response to Trump’s immigration ban. On Saturday, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance refused to pick up passengers at New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport for one hour. The alliance called for other taxi drivers to protest the immigration ban. But, Uber’s Twitter account posted a tweet saying, ““Surge pricing has been turned off at #JFK Airport. This may result in longer wait times. Please be patient.” Many protesters believed as a sign the company was attempting to profit off of the taxi strike. However, Uber later stated that they were sorry for the confusion and it was not meant to break up any strikes.
Meanwhile, to profit off of the #DeleteUber social media movement against Uber, the ride-sharing company competitor, Lyft, donated a million dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union.