Mercedes-Benz's parent company announced today that Hailo, a UK-based car-sharing service, will merge with the MyTaxi service, which Daimler already owns. Reuters reports Daimler will get a 60-percent stake in the new company, while Hailo's former shareholders will score 40 percent of MyTaxi's shares. The pairing creates a significant new rival for Uber, Lyft, and their ilk, but it's the way MyTaxi operates that sets it apart – instead of hailing random drivers in their personal vehicles, app users are hailing actual cabbies. The app essentially takes the one of the most difficult parts of getting a cab out of the equation – finding the cab company's phone number.
According to Reuters, the pairing will create the largest smartphone-based taxi service in Europe with 70 million passengers and 100,000 registered drivers in 50 cities across nine countries – Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Daimler isn't the only automaker increasing its presence in the online sector. Late last week, Renault announced the formation of Renault Mobility, a standalone car-sharing service targeted at the French market. While it's admittedly a small piece of news, combined with the bigger announcement from Daimler, it's more proof that automakers from around the world are trying to diversify their business to capitalize on increased consumer connectivity.