Daimler CEO Is Amazed by the Progress of Apple and Google Cars

Mercedes-Benz F 015 Vision Concept 1 photo
Photo: Daimler AG
It's not exactly the norm for a German CEO to speak so positively about a future competitor, but then again, Daimler's Dieter Zetsche is not your run-of-the-mill CEO.
After a recent trip to Silicon Valley, America's center of innovation, Zetsche apparently returned with an entirely different view concerning Google's and Apple's upcoming automotive projects.

Our impression was that these companies can do more and know more than we had previously assumed. At the same time they have more respect for our achievements than we thought,” Daimler's CEO told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

During his prolonged Silicon Valley visit, Zetsche and an undisclosed number of other Daimler executives met with approximately 70 companies in Silicon Valley, checking out anything from established IT companies to startups. Not officially confirmed, but it is believed that Daimler not only went for a courtesy visit but is actively searching for a partner regarding its “autonomous driving” and “car-to-x” technologies.

Since both Google and Apple are currently working on automotive projects that will likely take a healthy bite out of the future “driverless car market,” you'd expect Dieter Zetsche to be more reserved when talking about its future rivals, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

As many of you know, Google has been testing its Panda-looking autonomous prototype for a few years now, while Apple recently snatched the Internet domain. By 2020, both companies should have autonomous cars in production.

That said, Daimler is already on track with its own foray into autonomous driving, with the latest example being the 2017 E-Class, which has built-in features that can make it partially driverless in various situations.

Either way, Zetsche's somewhat surprisingly positive remarks about the two IT giants come at a strange time, especially for Apple, whose head of the automotive project unexpectedly left the company. Could it be that Daimler was also on a poaching mission in Silicon Valley? Your guess is as good as ours.
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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