To compete with on-demand transportation services such as Uber and Didi Chuxing, automakers Daimler and BMW are teaming up for a billion-euro mobility partnership. The effort would bring together five different divisions called Reach Now, Share Now, Free Now, Park Now and Charge Now, CNBC reported.
Management Board Chairman of BMW Harald Krüger said in a statement, according to the outlet, “These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with the other modes of transport.”
Share Now, for instance, is described as an app for rentals and payments of vehicles via smartphone. As it stands, the automakers claim that the service encompasses 20,000 vehicles. While that service is said to be in 31 cities, it could grow in terms of coverage areas and vehicles. Another service, Park Now, will enable parking reservations and payments at garages and on-street parking spaces. Free Now offers private chauffeurs, e-scooters and taxis. And Charge Now will let drivers locate charge points and pay for charging, while Reach Now lets customers make reservations and payments for travel.
The news comes after it was reported in November that the European Union’s (EU’s) competition authority had approved a BMW and Daimler plan to join together their car sharing businesses. In March, Krüger said that the combination would “create a unique digital ecosystem.” Krüger continued at the time, “The planned merger of our mobility services will pool our resources and send a strong signal to our new competitors.”
This new deal was said to include car sharing units DriveNow and car2go in addition to parking, charging and ride-hailing services. But the firms offered concessions to address concerns over competition, particularly for car-sharing services that are free-floating in Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Cologne and Duesseldorf.