Merchant Innovation

Uber’s Driverless Fleet?

It seems that Uber — facing a host of labor issues with its human driver force — has made a positive step in the direction of an automated solution.

According to an anonymous auto industry source quoted by Reuters, the ride-hailing service is circling a large order of self-driving cars.

“They wanted autonomous cars,” said the source, who declined to be named. “It seemed like they were shopping around.”

With self-driving cars, Uber would be able to cuts its largest cost: paying drivers.
And there will soon be a variety of options to choose from, as Audi, Mercedes and BMW are all working on self-driving car tech.
The reports Friday follow reports out of Germany that Uber has already placed an order for 100,000 Mercedes S-Class cars, citing sources at both firms. The S-class is a limousine that is pushing toward fully autonomous driving capacity, though they have not achieved it yet.
Those reports are contested by an anonymous source, allegedly familiar with the matter, who noted that no such order has been placed. Neither Daimler nor Uber have offered official comment on the matter. And there is reason that automakers are going to fully embrace Uber, a technology platform that has the potential to fundamentally change the business model of automakers.

“We don’t want to end up like Nokia’s handset business, which was once hugely profitable … then disappeared,” a second auto industry source said about doing a deal with Uber.

And further adding to the confusion going on in the auto industry these days,  Mercedes rival BMW is toying with the idea of rolling out its own ride-hailing service.

“The value creation is shifting from the actual hardware toward software and services,” BMW’s new Chief Executive Harald Krueger said on Wednesday.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.