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Old 19th March 2016, 03:48   #1
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Default Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!-14c1102_005.jpg

It was totally surprising to hear Uber buying 1,00,000 top of the Mercedes line up S-classes. The asset light technology company in which the drivers own and operate the cabs has had quite a departure from their core policy.
That's what makes the number of cars Uber bought so important. Selling 100,000 S-Classes in one go is pretty crazy – that's about the number of S-Classes Mercedes managed to sell in a single year.If we assume Uber worked out a sweet volume deal and got each car for $80,000 (suggested price in the US is about $95,000), that works out to an $8 billion price tag. That's about €7.1 billion, or put another way, a full 8 percent of all the money Daimler made off of Mercedes-Benz cars in 2015.

What makes the news even more attractive is the fact both the companies have been working towards self-driving technologies. The new E-class and the new S-class has various radar, self steering, self park etc which are baby step self driving technologies.Loss-making Uber would make drastic savings on its biggest cost -- drivers -- if it were able to incorporate self-driving cars into its fleet. But a key hurdle to driverless cars has been the question of liability in the event of an accident. Most countries are signatories to the 1968 United Nations Convention on Road Traffic which stipulates that a person, rather than a computer, must be in control of a vehicle. Auto industry executives say regulators are likely to help pass legislation for self-driving cars if these help cut congestion and pollution.

Autoblog link
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Old 19th March 2016, 09:16   #2
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Default re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

This marks a tremendous departure from Uber's current operating model; perhaps they'll start owning vehicles and just hiring drivers (or not, if driverless cars is the goal). That brings about a different set of issues: Uber being in charge of maintenance and fuel and so on.

They might even be looking at long-term tie-ups: with organizations as a fleet provider.

Amongst all such providers (Uber, Lyft, Ola), Uber has also marked themselves as a more professional and uptight outfit.

Any way, they're burning through investor cash like there's no tomorrow!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 19th March 2016 at 09:21.
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Old 19th March 2016, 09:21   #3
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Default re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Is Uber planning a local-self-drive option ? A customer picks up a car at his nearest location, and drops it at location closest to his destination ?
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Old 19th March 2016, 09:38   #4
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Default re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Man this is really crazy ! Why would Uber want to own cars, that too S- class? They are on to something. Is it to learn about driver/user behaviour and related stuff and implement in their own version of self driving cars? This is really intriguing.
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Old 19th March 2016, 10:03   #5
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Default re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

wow! 100k S class. I thought there was a typo in the number of zeores!

While not directly doubting the authenticity of this report, which i see is from a local German publication. Seeing the financial state of Uber, 8 billion for cars, that too expensive to maintain cars seems stupid.S class is not your average taxi unless your a 7 star hotel!

I guess uber has made a long term purchase, spread over 10 years or so,since Mercedes doesn't have the capacity for such an order or maybe uber has promised to buy the s class in bulk when Mercedes has perfected its driverless tech??

Will hopefully wait for some clarification from uber since this must have been some inside scoop that was published without verifying
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Old 19th March 2016, 11:06   #6
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Fat chance, this news is definitely fake. Someone has been misquoted somewhere.

1 lakh S-Class is simply too much capital for a company that takes pride in its 'asset-light' nature. Of course, it's a different matter that the number is the total annual production of the S-Class, and that Uber doesn't have that much money in the bank. Even if it's a multi-year deal, Uber's investors would never agree to such a move.

Very recently, Ola, Lyft, Didi And GrabTaxi announced a global partnership. Uber needs to build its arsenal to fight this partnership and the answer is NOT buying 100,000 premium sedans. They need to invest in the customer experience, technology, branding, training etc.
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Old 19th March 2016, 13:05   #7
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

The way some people in EU use commas and zeros in writing numerics, is very strange at times.
I have noticed people writing 1 Euro as 1,00 Eur. This news could be one of those kinds, where the number could be something else.
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Old 19th March 2016, 14:17   #8
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

I sit a little confused after reading this.
As far as I know the S-Class does not have self-driving only minor assists such as lane correction and auto-braking based on radar technology. It cannot steer itself from point A to point B based on sat-nav, correct me If I'm wrong, so what exactly is Uber going to do with these S-Classes?
Unless it's investment in a future(next-gen) S-Class model which may be capable of this?
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Old 19th March 2016, 18:01   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maky View Post
I know the S-Class does not have self-driving only minor assists such as lane correction and auto-braking based on radar technology. ?
Exactly. Its called partially autonomous driving as of now. The upcoming E class also gets all the capabilities. But its a little more than lane correction and auto braking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maky View Post
It cannot steer itself from point A to point B based on sat-nav
This is currently under development and will be integrated with the current IDC that is on sale. That will increase the autonomous driving capability. I think either the number of cars is wrong. Its not an aircraft deal to sign for X number of aircraft over Y number of years.

If they actually planned giving out cars for people to drive on their own, the S class would be a huge risk to take.

On a side note, if this news is really true, then I know where so many cars are heading to:
Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!-img_2941.jpg
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Old 20th March 2016, 12:50   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

I am very sure this is just some journalist's oversight, could be just possibly rumours.

For a company which is losing billions every year, it would be suicidal to plonk in close to $10B for a rapidly depreciating asset like Luxury Cars.

If they wanted to develop self drive cars, $10B is a lot of money to invest in R&D to develop self drive technology.

Sure there will be some clarity sooner than later.
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Old 20th March 2016, 13:13   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Why would they buy these cars TODAY when the technology is neither approved not proven? Once the technology matures, would they invest - that too an S class? no way. A Tesla Model X or so would make far more sense.
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Old 20th March 2016, 18:44   #12
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!



https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mer...istance-drive/




Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rationalist View Post
Man this is really crazy ! Why would Uber want to own cars, that too S- class?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maky View Post
I sit a little confused after reading this.
As far as I know the S-Class does not have self-driving only minor assists such as lane correction and auto-braking based on radar technology. It cannot steer itself from point A to point B based on sat-nav, correct me If I'm wrong, so what exactly is Uber going to do with these S-Classes?
Unless it's investment in a future(next-gen) S-Class model which may be capable of this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Exactly. Its called partially autonomous driving as of now. The upcoming E class also gets all the capabilities. But its a little more than lane correction and auto braking.


If they actually planned giving out cars for people to drive on their own, the S class would be a huge risk to take.
A new technology in the market always follows a top-down strategy. In order to make it more convincing, attractive and faster adoption. S-class stands as a industry leading brand and an epitome of Mercedes engineering. It does look highly probable when you consider all that into equation.

And add to that S-class is one of the safest car in the world which would further convince for faster adoption! Better be in an S-class when in crash than a Model X or S! (With all due respect - Tesla's are also safe!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Why would they buy these cars TODAY when the technology is neither approved not proven? Once the technology matures, would they invest - that too an S class? no way. A Tesla Model X or so would make far more sense.

Full journey of the above video.

Last edited by johannskaria : 20th March 2016 at 19:00.
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Old 21st March 2016, 00:35   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Quote:
Originally Posted by johannskaria View Post
A new technology in the market always follows a top-down strategy. In order to make it more convincing, attractive and faster adoption. S-class stands as a industry leading brand and an epitome of Mercedes engineering. It does look highly probable when you consider all that into equation.
The S-Class in the video is the result an R&D team who have pre-developed the system which has a super sized ECU at the back. The S-Class on sale doesnt have this functionality. There is still a few years before one can see a Series Production S-class that can perform like the one on this video. Also, as far as I am aware, it is not the S-Class that will be the first fully autonomous driving vehicle from MB. The top down approach is not followed in this case. So that is what I mean when I said ordering cars like aircraft which are delivered a few years later.
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Old 21st March 2016, 10:41   #14
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maky View Post
As far as I know the S-Class does not have self-driving only minor assists such as lane correction and auto-braking based on radar technology. It cannot steer itself from point A to point B based on sat-nav
The technology is ready with Mercedes. When Rehaan went for the S-Class drive, this is what he was told:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Mercedes themselves say that the S-Class has all the technology required to drive itself autonomously, but legislation prevents that from happening in commercially available vehicles. Over the years, the systems have continued to cross the line from being suggestive, to being helpful, to completely doing things for you!
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Old 21st March 2016, 15:38   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: Uber buys 1,00,000+ Mercedes S-Class!

From what we read, it is the pilot project for Uber. No one in their right minds (i.e. management @ Uber) would agree to plonk money on a 100k S-Class's for a pilot project, which is still awaiting regulator nod. more so when Uber itself is looking at the thin margins.
They might as well do that to smaller cheaper Merc's, with the same tech added on, say like the C-Class, and looking at the volume, Merc would happily oblige.

S-Class sounds and IS too much, and this CANNOT be true.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 21st March 2016 at 15:41.
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