Google and Apple are further along with their car projects than Daimler’s CEO Dieter Zetsche originally assumed.
Zetsche told German weekly Welt am Sonntag that in his recent visit to Silicon Valley, he found that both tech giants “can do more and know more than we had previously assumed.” He also added that both companies “have more respect for our achievements than we thought.”
Google has been testing self-driving cars since 2012 and Daimler’s luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz, followed with an S-Class that drove 64 miles on its own. Since then, Google has built its own prototype vehicle instead of using existing cars, while Mercedes has implemented semi-autonomous features in its production vehicles.
Although Apple still hasn’t confirmed that it is working on its own car project, rumors have been been ongoing for years that a move is imminent. It’s basically an open secret that Apple will debut a car in the future.
Zetsche and a handful of senior managers met around 70 companies companies in Silicon Valley in their recent visit. “There were concrete talks,” he said. “I will not say anything about the content. It was not just about the fact that there is an innovative spirit in the Valley. We know that already. We wanted to see what drives it, and all the things that can be created from it.”
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