During an industry conference that took place in Munich, Germany, both German carmakers voiced their interest to establish (together with their rivals) new or separate platforms that would thwart Google Inc’s extensive implication into handling sensitive customer information.
“We seek connection to Google’s data systems but we still want to be the masters of our own cars,” commented Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn. The issue is increasingly important, as car buyers are more and more attracted to seamless car to web connectivity – and automakers bring additional Internet services to their vehicles. The situation is even more problematic as the industry is preparing to transition to an era when all new cars would be able to communicate with each other and the surroundings.
Google and Apple have seen the automotive segment as representing the next frontier of expansion, already showcasing production ready systems such as the Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto. Both infotainment systems are designed from the ground up to be used in cars and offer seamless interaction between the driver, the car and their smartphone or tablet. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG – the parent company of Mercedes-Benz – has added that “it’s very good” when automakers discuss systems for processing and storing car data – allowing them to avoid dependence to “third parties.”