Daimler and BMW Group are preparing for a future where car ownership, especially in major cities, could become a thing of the past.
The two German auto giants in March announced plans to merge their various mobility services into a 50:50 joint-venture company headquartered in Berlin, and on Wednesday they announced that the merger has been given regulatory approval by competition watchdogs, including here in the United States.
Further details on the new mobility company will be announced in the first quarter of 2019. By then, we should also have knowledge of its name.
At its core is expected to be a single app combining numerous mobility services. For example, with the one app you'll be able to hail a ride, use a car in a shared fleet, pay for street or garage parking, locate a charging station for an EV, and much more.
Daimler and BMW Group merge mobility divisions
The app may even integrate payments and information for public transport services. The idea is to create a simple yet comprehensive mobility solution for getting from A to B.
A few of the services that we already know are being merged in the joint-venture company are Daimler's Moovel, MyTaxi and Car2Go services and BMW Group's ReachNow, DriveNow and ParkNow services.
Crucially, the joint-venture company will also oversee all future mobility services to be developed, like a self-driving taxi service. Daimler and supplier giant Bosch will have a trial self-driving service up and running in the heart of Silicon Valley in late 2019.
It was also reported Thursday that Daimler and BMW Group could eventually start sharing parts and technology, including whole vehicle platforms. Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter, said the two automakers are in early exploratory talks about sharing of vehicle platforms, electric car batteries, and self-driving technology in an effort to reduce costs.