Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche's recent visit to the Silicon Valley, told German weekly Welt am Sonntag that Google and Apple have made significant progress in automotive projects than he had assumed.
Google had tested its ambitious project on the prototype self-driving car back in 2012 and in turn Daimler's luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz developed an S-Class limousine, a driverless car, it went on to drive 103 kilometers without any driver input. There have been rumors about Apple working on its self-drive car, however, there has been no official confirmation.
Google developed their own custom vehicle, which is assembled by Roush Enterprises and equipment from Bosch, ZF Lenksysteme, LG, and Continental. The range finder mounted on top of the car is a beam laser, this allows the car to generate a complete 3D map of its environment, then this takes it to combine with high-resolution maps of the world, this produces various types of data model that allows the car to self-drive.
"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. Zetsche and some of the senior managers met about 70 companies, some of them start-ups probably, without naming them.
"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 said.
KBA, Germany's vehicle authority spent three days testing Mercedes and Smart models of Daimler for emission violation. "To my knowledge, no conspicuous emissions levels were found," Zetsche told the paper.