Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said a recent trip to Silicon Valley revealed that tech companies such as Google and Apple were making significant progress on autonomous cars, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported (via Reuters).
“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 said, according to the report.
Zetsche said he and other managers from the automaker met with tech companies in Silicon Valley, but didn’t disclose what those companies were.
“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.
Zetsche’s comments about Google and Apple were especially surprising considering it’s unclear whether those companies could supply automakers with autonomous technology or build their own cars. Zetsche said last year that Google would be a better supplier than automaker.