German automakers have a tradition of competing aggressively each other. So it seems a bit unlikely that they would ever consider working together on future projects. But two of Germany’s major automotive stalwarts appear to be breaking with tradition to join forces together to offer customers a single source for sustainable mobility services.
In a recent press release issued by BMW Group, the Munich-based firm announced its collaboration with its direct competitor, Daimler AG, to build a single ecosystem for on-demand mobility services, mainly in urban areas and major metropolitan cities.
Not only do BMW Group and Daimler AG seek to become a leader in this niche by offering a single universe for mobility services, the two agreed the joint venture will also serve as a learning experience for expanding and improving the digital business models behind both corporations. Each company agreed both will hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture, ensuring equal cooperation of both participants.
The initiative is also one of the many ways major automakers are working with cities, municipalities, and other governmental bodies in terms of city planning and traffic management.
By increasing these mobility services, both Daimler and BMW hope they can do their part to help reduce traffic congestion, fatalities, and curb pollution issues. Additionally, the two companies plan to build electric vehicle charging infrastructure even further.
More so, the combination of all these services into one suite is intended to create a more seamless, convenient, and easy-to-plan experience for travelers. Think of it as a manufacturer-sanctioned Expedia experience, but for all the major mobility services listed here.
The plan is to consolidate and integrate the following services in five key areas: multimodality, CarSharing, ride-hailing, parking, and charging.
- Multimodality — Essentially the name for describing the overall experience of using multiple modes of transportation to get from point A to point B, BMW AG and Daimler plan to offer multimodal transportation planning services, but with one easy experience. By bundling these services, they hope to make it easier for customers to manage booking and reservation payments in one location.
- CarSharing — Featuring Car2Go and DriveNow, which both operate a fleet of 20,000 vehicles in 31 major cities worldwide, the new CarSharing aspect will be included to better utilize its fleet while helping to reduce the number of vehicles in cities.
- Ride-hailing — If one doesn’t feel like driving themselves, BMW and Daimler will offer ride-hailing services featuring Europe’s largest taxi applications, including Mytaxi, Chauffeur Privé, Clever Taxi, and Beat. So far, 13 million users exist for all the combined taxi and ride-hailing services mentioned, with over 140,000 drivers available.
- Parking — Chose a more personal mode of transportation for your trip? No worries, parking services are also provided with ParkNow and Parkmobile Group/Parkmobile LLC. With the parking mobility services, users can enjoy ticketless and cashless on-street parking, or benefit from digital parking services to help search and pay for spots, reducing the amount of time and driving one has to do to find a decent spot.
- Charging — As electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles become more prevalent, BMW and Daimler AG plan to be prepared for the influx in demand for charging stations with its new mobility services. Using ChargeNow and Digital Charging Solutions, the two automakers seek to build up charging infrastructure even more, particularly to cater to the increasing demand of electromobility.
BMW AG and Daimler didn’t specify when the new mobility services universe will be ready. The companies are currently still in the planning stages with local governments and financial institutions and hope to have everything evaluated and approved over the remainder of 2018.
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