The German magazine Manager Magazin is saying that Uber ordered 100,000 autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Class vehicles. This would be huge business news even if the cars weren’t autonomous. First, it’s an estimated $11 billion order — the kind of figure we’re more used to seeing when airlines order from Boeing or Airbus. The other similarity between Uber’s Mercedes order and the aircraft business is the delivery date. Uber reportedly doesn’t expect to take delivery until 2020.
Mercedes doesn’t yet offer a fully autonomous vehicle, though like its competitors it’s moving fast. In a humorous note, no word from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick whether the 100,000 new cars will be actual employees of Uber — or if they’ll be able to unionize.