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Daimler looks at India for mobile-first strategy

Daimler to unveil long-distance electric car in October

  Daimler, which owns brands such as Mercedes Benz and Maybach cars on Wednesday said it plans to hire few hundred engineers at its Bengaluru research facility to build the company’s next phase of becoming a mobility services company.

The global car industry is ripe for disruption with the emergence of luxury electric cars promoted by Tesla and the concept of autonomous and driverless cars. Earlier this week, Mercedes Benz tested its autonomous self driving bus in Netherlands, which it says would be the future of public transport. It already has tested driverless trucks on European roads and is also working on driverless luxury cars.

At the same time, on demand companies such as Uber are changing behaviours of consumers from owning cars to renting them for a trip on their smartphones. Uber on Tuesday said it has completed two billion rides by users globally with the last billion rides in six months as against the first billion in six years.

“There are two things to this as every other company will evolve more into a software company. There is no way to not be a software company. Secondly, the question to any company is where is profit. Right now profit is in selling products, in the future profit will be selling mobility,” Daimler CIO, Jan Brecht on his first visit to Mercedes-Benz Research & Development India (MBRDI) in Bengaluru.

“We will still make cars and trucks, but there might be different models in it. You will see the product prominently but you might not have to own the product. We will shift from selling a mechanical product to selling mobility services,” said Brecht

You can buy say a 100 km or a particular car to go to office everyday, but a different one to travel with family. That will be mobility services," said Brecht.

Daimler has its second biggest team of 1,300 software professionals in Bengaluru of its total IT team of 8,400 professionals. The company plans to hire few hundred engineers in the city, as it beefs the technology team to focus on the mobile first strategy.

All the data collected from the vehicles will be physically stored of the data will be in Germany as there is legally a need to certain data to be stored in Germany itself.

However, this could be managed by a team set up anywhere. In terms of the rest of the data it will be a hybrid approach on premise and cloud storage.

“We will see a mix on premise that will be the critical data that will be intellectual property or consumer data and the data which is not so critical will be on cloud. However, these will differ for different countries depending on the legal frame work, “ said Brecht.