BMW recently announced a joint venture with Daimler to break into the rapidly evolving world of transport or 'mobility services' as they term it. Their programme includes 5 points: REACH NOW (route management & booking), FREE NOW (taxi hailing), SHARE NOW (car sharing) PARK NOW (parking services) and CHARGE NOW (EV charging).
According to BMW Chief Executive Harald Krueger "the 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,". Their core car manufacturing function will work towards the development of autonomous cars to complete this goal.
Uber and China's Didi are dominating the market in various territories. Ride-sharing has proven to be immediately and massively popular due to ease of use, lower user costs and a wide network providing reliable service.
BMW/Daimler are looking to take this a step further by automating the process using vehicles that drive and charge themselves. This eliminates the cost of the driver and increases on-road time per vehicle, in turn leading to a greater network of vehicles.
With this level of opportunity at stake, its likely that we will see more large companies turning their focus to this evolving sector. Uber has announced its plans to tentatively re-launch its self-driving car trials following a fatal accident in early 2018. It will pare back the trial significantly with two employees sitting in the front seats of each car, speed will be limited to 25mph and the service will not run after dark or in wet weather.