Mercedes-Benz wants to stay ahead of the self driving ‘game’

Mercedes, the icon of automotive engineering, which takes credit for inventing the car, set up an accelerator for startups last year to identify and develop promising technologies, a departure from its past mindset when ideas from the outside were more likely to be scoffed at. The new approach appears to be helping, with the automaker moving up the rollout of 10 electric cars by three years to 2022.

Meanwhile, cash rich technology companies like Apple Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc., which has set up mobility unit Waymo, are moving fast into this technology.

Ford Motor Co. has staked out an early lead in development and plans to deliver market-ready autonomous cars as early as 2020, while BMW AG aims to introduce the self-driving iNext as its new flagship in 2021.

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