Daily Management Review

After Buying Nokia's HereMaps Jointly, Daimler Eyes Collaboration with Google & Apple for Next Gen Cars


After Buying Nokia's HereMaps Jointly, Daimler Eyes Collaboration with Google & Apple for Next Gen Cars
Daimler wants to cooperate with It giants Apple and Google to help develop the next generation autos.

Chief executive of the company, Dieter Zetsche said that the next generation autos, slated to ultimately be auto driven and driverless, cannot be built without greater input from telecoms and software experts.

"Many things are conceivable," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in an interview with quarterly magazine Deutsche Unternehmerboerse published on Friday.

In the recent years, car manufacturers have been introducing drive assistive software in cars with the help of IT companies. Some of the big names in auto business have tied up or bought out software to put into their cars. Auto manufacturers ultimately intend to develop cars that would not need drivers but can navigate the roads and lane by itself, aided by IT software. This has led to the emergence of the connected car market, cars connected to software, where the ultimate goal is to develop a self driving car.

"Google and Apple want to provide system software for cars and bring this entire ecosystem around Apple and Google into the vehicle. That can be interesting for both sides," Zetsche said in the interview.

Martin Winterkorn, the Chief executive of the German auto maker Volkswagen, the major competitor of Daimler, had also recently said that collaboration with technology firms is necessary to make future cars safer and more intelligent.

Zetsche said that one of the options for Daimler was to develop new generation cars through a joint venture with the American It giants and using the digital expertise of its U.S. partners. However Zetsche clarified that his words were "purely theoretical" which means that nothing has so far been jotted down in black and white.

The Daimler chief executive however made it clear that the German auto manufacturer did not want to merely act as suppliers for the US It companies and simply produce cars for them to add in the assistive software.

"We don't want to become contractors who have no direct content with customers any more and supply hardware to third parties," he said.

Very recently however, Daimler, along with Audi and BMW, struck a deal with Nokia to purchase the Here maps division of Nokia for 2.8 billion euros or $3.07 billion.

The deal would give the auto manufacturers avenues to use the technology in their cars after the regulatory authorities clear the deal by early 2016. This deal is viewed as a means for the three German auto giants to not to install in-car navigation options but take a step forward to develop self-driving vehicles without having to use platforms developed by US IT giants Apple and Google.

On the other hand there have been confirmed reports about Google developing a self-driving car platform as well as Apple, rumoured to be working on a secret project for automotive software which has been codenamed Titan.

(Sources:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com & www.reuters.com)