In a new and sudden turn of events, Mercedes-Benz has decided to halt efforts in regards to self-driving. This announcement comes on the heals of the release of Tesla’s limited Full Self-Driving beta as well as Waymo’s driverless ride-sharing service in Phoenix, Arizona. A Mercedes-Benz spokesman told local media “We don’t compete in any race that we can no longer win.”
Mercedes-Benz presented a pilot project in Stuttgart Airport that where a S-Class independently searched for a parking space without human intervention. An impressive demo that leaves many to question why the German automaker is deciding to throw in the towel now?
Head of Mercedes-Benz, Ola Källenius, said that it would be in company’s best interest to focus on its numbers. In a statement to RND.de, Källenius said “The conversion to a mobility provider is a thing of the past. We will move away from it again. You can’t make money with offers like car sharing. Our investors not only expect sales, but also above all profit.”
Mercedes-Benz will ultimately need to cut investments in multiple ares including research and development initiatives. For example, Mercedes terminated it’s collaboration with BMW in the development of autonomous driving software.
With Mercedes-Benz cutting certain ties with BMW and no longer looking to focus on the daunting task of achieving true autonomous driving, the company will now aim most of its focus on strengthening its brand and promoting the luxury of its vehicles.