After a recent trip to Silicon Valley, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche revealed to a German paper that he was impressed by the progress made by Apple and Google on their autonomous projects.
Several major automakers are already testing their self-driving technologies with the plan to launch fully autonomous cars in the near feature. But Silicon Valley tech companies are not to be ignored, as it is said their know-how in the software area will make them leaders of the trend in the coming years. Google tested its own prototype vehicle in 2012, to which Daimler’s luxury brand Mercedes-Benz responded by developing an S-Class limousine which drove 103 kilometers without needing any driver input. Even if Apple did not yet confirm the rumors, some reports say the company is also working on a self-driving car. After a recent trip to Silicon Valley, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche revealed to the German weekly Welt am Sonntag that Silicon Valley companies made impressive progress on their autonomous 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,” Zetsche told the paper.
It seems like Zetsche and some senior managers met with around 70 companies in Silicon Valley, the weekly said. “There were concrete talks. 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,” Zetsche told the paper, explaining that they had also looked at start-up firms.