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Uber planning to start using self driving cars

Ride-hailing service Uber has sounded out car companies about placing a large order for self-driving cars, an auto industry source said on Friday.

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

Loss-making Uber would make drastic savings on its biggest cost -- drivers -- if it were able to incorporate self-driving cars into its fleet.

Volkswagen's Audi, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, BMW and car industry suppliers Bosch and Continental are all working on technologies for autonomous or semi-autonomous cars.
Earlier on Friday, Germany's Manager Magazin reported that Uber had placed an order for at least 1,00,000 Mercedes S-Class cars, citing sources at both companies.
The top-flight limousine, around 1,00,000 of which Mercedes-Benz sold last year, does not yet have fully autonomous driving functionality.
Another source familiar with the matter said no order had been placed with Mercedes-Benz. Daimler and Uber declined to comment.
Auto industry executives are wary of doing deals with newcomers from the technology and software business who threaten to upend established business models based on manufacturing and selling cars.

"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.

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