While the space of automobiles and technology have reached a point of stagnation among the intelligent entertainment suites and concept models, word coming in about Daimler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche being surprised by Apple and Google with their progress in cars, is itself a little surprising. With Google’s army of self-driving cars regularly and repeatedly driving themselves into trouble, and Apple yet to officially acknowledge its automobile ambitions, Dr. Zetsche’s proclamation of surprise on the amount of progress the two tech giants have made may give rise to speculations on what these companies have achieved, behind the scene.
Mercedes Benz, parented by Daimler AG, is making technological progress of its own. While Faraday Future took the cake from what was a reasonably empty plate at CES this year, CES 2015 saw Daimler AG rule supreme with the Mercedes Benz F-015 Luxury in Motion concept vehicle. We have only seen images of the car, and even apart from the semblance to a plush, compact living room on the inside, the Mercedes Benz F-015 Luxury in Motion has every potential to shape the self-driving automobile of our future, and lay the foundation for carmakers to follow in future.
Google’s story, however, has not exactly been as amazing. The bunch of self-driving cars set about to roam in Mountain View, CA, were initially received with warm enthusiasm, but has since then run into multiple minor road accidents, failures to gauge distance on the rear, etc. What it has missed is the touch of human improvisation at moments where algorithms fail to “deeply learn”. Apple, on the other hand, has nothing to show, as yet. While there have been multiple rumours, tours to BMW’s engineering facilities to examine the BMW i3, and hiring of leading automobile engineers from some of the largest names in the world of auto, Apple is yet to speak out on the matter.
To cap this, Steve Zadesky, who has been believed to have led Apple’s electric car project till now, is reportedly leaving the company. According to a report on The Wall Street Journal, Zadesky is quitting his position at Apple for personal reasons, although Apple is yet to make its declaration official. Meanwhile, Daimler AG claims to have had a fruitful Silicon Valley trip, with “concrete talks” already done with some of the technology companies for future ventures.
Is it finally time to get excited about the car for our future, then?