Daimler announced that it has acquired apps RideScout and MyTaxi to become the first major car manufacturer to gain entry into the ride-sharing industry.
Daimler, whose Mercedes-Benz vehicles are used by many taxi companies in certain locations in Europe, is acquiring U.S.-based RideScout and Germany-based Intelligent Apps, which is the owner of the MyTaxi app.
The company, however, emphasized that it is not looking to disrupt the taxi industry, which ride-sharing industry leader Uber has controversially done with its services.
Daimler bought Hamburg-based MyTaxi through its Moovel subsidiary. The app allows customers to request for a cab, track its location, give a rating for the driver's service, and make the payment for the ride, all using a smartphone.
MyTaxi was launched in Germany in 2009, with tens of millions of downloads all over the world. However, MyTaxi has yet to establish a major presence in the United States.
"The acquisition of MyTaxi and our existing holding in Blacklane, the rapidly growing limousine booking service, is by no means an attack on established taxi operators," reiterated Moovel CEO Robert Henrich.
Henrich added that Moovel will instead be looking to foster a close working relationship with taxi companies, which was welcomed by BZP, the association of taxi companies and rental car services in Germany.
Moovel is already the owner of Car2Go, which is a ride-sharing service that has over 850,000 customers using the app. Another app that Moovel also owns is Park2gether, which helps drivers look for empty parking spaces in the location where they are in.
The other app that was acquired by Daimler, RideScout, is based in Austin in the United States. The app aids customers in looking for the best option to get to a specific destination over using both private and public transportation, along with ride-sharing services.
RideScout is well-established in the United States, with a presence in 69 cities. The app uses geolocation capabilities to provide the transportation service recommendations to its users.
Uber has been banned in Germany as the company has been told by the government that it does not have the required insurances and licenses to be allowed to function as a ride-sharing service.
The ride-sharing services industry has been embroiled in much controversy recently, with Uber reportedly implementing a campaign that aims to undermine its competitors such as Lyft through the recruitment of drivers that are working for rival companies. The campaign is named Operation SLOG.