Daimler CEO Impressed by Silicon Valley’s Progress on Automobile Projects

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The CEO of German automotive company Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, may have given a small update on the progress of the long-rumored Apple Car (via Reuters). After visiting with about 70 companies in total on a trip to Silicon Valley, Zetsche told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag [Google Translate] that "these companies can do more and know more" about the automotive process than he previously thought. The CEO never specifically mentioned Apple by name, however.

dieter zetsche daimler

"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 referred to a few "concrete talks" that were had while he visited California, but he of course couldn't specifically refer to the content of any meeting he had while he was there. Apple hired former Mercedes-Benz R&D President and CEO Johann Jungwirth in 2014, which began the initial wave of rumors pointing towards the Cupertino-based company's future entry in the automobile market.

In August, Daimler -- the parent company of Mercedes-Benz -- mentioned that it remains open to "different types" of collaboration with Apple in regards to automotive projects. Some of the recent rumors surrounding the "Apple Car" involve Apple's registering of various auto-related domain names, with a possible launch date of 2019 for the vehicle.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
62 months ago
We know who you really are, Zetsche.



Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago
Hot damn, that mustache is absolutely fabulous!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago

There's so much wrong with this post that it's hard to know where to begin. The industry isn't ripe for disruption. What does that even mean anyway? Trying to apply "phone logic" and terminology to the auto industry is a losing proposition. Cars are heavily regulated by multiple government organizations around the world.

Increasing displacement? What? Pretty much all volume car manufacturers are making smaller displacement engines, using turbo charging to combat the loss of displacement power and gain in efficiency. They've also started earnest investment in hybrid/full electric alternatives. But just like Apple being slowed by Intel's component development, the auto industry's alternative propulsion is only going to go as far as the battery tech allows it to go.
[doublepost=1453744958][/doublepost]
I'd say Google more so than Tesla. Especially in the area of autonomous cars. Tesla's pretty much a known entity in the automotive world.

Thanks for that post, I was going to correct all his inaccuracies but I see you already did it. ^^ A big displacement is maybe still a thing with US cars, but most European manufactures are going for smaller, turbocharged engines.

Modern cars are more and more equipped and safer compared to their predecessor but remain the same weight (if not less!) because of the use of lighter materials.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago

Germans have really tarnished the meaning of engineering, almost 100 years of reciprocating engines with horrible thermal efficiency and little progress.

What?

How come the rest of the world isn't putting German engineering to shame, then?

Maybe because it's more difficult than you'd like to believe - for all sorts of economic, scientific and political reasons?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago

Auto industry is ripe for 'disruption'. 100 years of little innovation, incremental changes will no real innovation. All they were focused on was tuning suspensions, chassis and adding incremental technologies like BT. They are taking shortcuts like increasing displacements to increase engine power output, as if that is some kind of innovation.

There is no real focus on improving thermal efficiency of engines, still at the most ~30%.

Every new of model year is heavier than the previous model year. How is this innovation? Aluminum chassis has been there for decades, why hasn't that propagated in all the models, especially the so called luxury makes who only focus on top 5mm layer of the car, the sheet metal and interior materials. They charge more for the same car with slight suspension modifications, but won't really innovate. For example they could start by making the car lighter than previous model year.

Germans have really tarnished the meaning of engineering, almost 100 years of reciprocating engines with horrible thermal efficiency and little progress.

There's so much wrong with this post that it's hard to know where to begin. The industry isn't ripe for disruption. What does that even mean anyway? Trying to apply "phone logic" and terminology to the auto industry is a losing proposition. Cars are heavily regulated by multiple government organizations around the world.

Increasing displacement? What? Pretty much all volume car manufacturers are making smaller displacement engines, using turbo charging to combat the loss of displacement power and gain in efficiency. They've also started earnest investment in hybrid/full electric alternatives. But just like Apple being slowed by Intel's component development, the auto industry's alternative propulsion is only going to go as far as the battery tech allows it to go.
[doublepost=1453744958][/doublepost]

There's no reason to think he's talking about Apple.

He's a competitor - I seriously doubt Apple would show him anything at all.

I think Tesla is a more likely company that he's referring to (except they're based out of the LA area, not silicon valley... but still.) Tesla has plenty of stuff that they're already selling, so perfectly willing to show off.

I'd say Google more so than Tesla. Especially in the area of autonomous cars. Tesla's pretty much a known entity in the automotive world.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
62 months ago
Auto industry is ripe for 'disruption'. 100 years of little innovation, incremental changes will no real innovation. All they were focused on was tuning suspensions, chassis and adding incremental technologies like BT. They are taking shortcuts like increasing displacements to increase engine power output, as if that is some kind of innovation.

There is no real focus on improving thermal efficiency of engines, still at the most ~30%.

Every new of model year is heavier than the previous model year. How is this innovation? Aluminum chassis has been there for decades, why hasn't that propagated in all the models, especially the so called luxury makes who only focus on top 5mm layer of the car, the sheet metal and interior materials. They charge more for the same car with slight suspension modifications, but won't really innovate. For example they could start by making the car lighter than previous model year.

Germans have really tarnished the meaning of engineering, almost 100 years of reciprocating engines with horrible thermal efficiency and little progress.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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