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

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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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.

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    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.

    Article Link: Daimler CEO Impressed by Silicon Valley's Progress on Automobile Projects
     
  2. 69Mustang macrumors 68040

    69Mustang

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  3. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 603

    Michaelgtrusa

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  4. spacemnspiff macrumors 6502

    spacemnspiff

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    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.
     
  5. _mdavenport macrumors regular

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  6. vertsix macrumors 65816

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  7. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

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    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.
     
  8. 69Mustang macrumors 68040

    69Mustang

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    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.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 25, 2016 ---
    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.
     
  9. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

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    Meh. I had a friend working on Google's automatic car. My understanding is its going nowhere. I expect Google to scrap it just like they scrapped Google Glass. The program is so inefficient that the car struggles to navigate safely at speeds over 30 MPH. They basically just have a self-driving golf cart.
     
  10. 69Mustang macrumors 68040

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    Interesting. Are you referencing the little Pikachu's or the Lexus SUV's?
     
  11. djlythium macrumors member

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    o_O Resisting... urge... to compare... to... Monopoly Guy...
     
  12. Rigby macrumors 68040

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    Mercedes Benz already knows everything there is to know about Tesla. They were an early investor and are even selling a vehicle with a Tesla powertrain (the electric B-class).
    Their main manufacturing plant is in Silicon Valley (in Fremont, just a couple miles from here).
     
  13. paul4339 macrumors 65816

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    In the auto industry the major happens in the manufacturing (the factory) in conjunction with the product (the car).

    Most people ignore the milestone innovations in the manufacturing and look only at the end product... they both go hand in hand. I expect that any serious entrant will need to re-invent the way cars are manufactured. This impacts the entire supply chain as well... especially if there is drastic change in the materials that cars are made of and how it's assembled.
     
  14. Cwolk macrumors regular

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  15. akb macrumors member

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    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?
     
  16. TallManNY macrumors 68040

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    "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."

    That quote makes me think that he figured out that folks in SV know a lot about cars, but that those same folks he met with were successfully able to kiss his butt in order to minimize to a certain extent his company's response. Not to mention he doesn't want his shares in Mercedes to fall while his company scrambles to deal with competitors who are much better funded than his company.
     
  17. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

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    Tobias Funke + 20 years.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 25, 2016 ---

    I'm investing in quantum entanglement engines. Definite disruption.
     
  18. Kobayagi macrumors 6502

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    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.
     
  19. marvz macrumors 6502a

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    Oh wow, didn't read that much nonsense in a long time. Please stop posting.
    And a little tidbit for you: all the new models are almost lighter then their predecessors. Another one: do you know the term incremental innovation? Yes, it does exit. Almost any given innovation is incremental and only in rare cases it's a radical innovation and ever rarer are disruptive innovations.
     
  20. Textime, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016

    Textime macrumors member

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    I think what you expect in the automotive industry is something completely different. Like flying cars in Star Wars. A game changer like the iPhone in 2007. But let me tell you that making and improving a car is much more difficult than exploring a full multi-touch screen with a great interface. You are dealing here with peoples life, with governments. I would recommend you doing an internship in a car manufacturing company.

    By the way, Steve Jobs loved his Mercedes. It's very good engineering and every button is at the right place. Not too many buttons and everything is build well. That's what he said. Maybe you will change your mind.
     
  21. LordJohnWhorfin macrumors regular

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    Yeah, because major Silicon Valley players were sure to tell them all about their plans to make legacy automakers obsolete and eat their lunch. Within 10 years these guys will be as relevant as buggy whip makers.
     
  22. sudo1996, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

    sudo1996 macrumors 6502a

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    Heh, imagine if the U.S. led auto manufacturing once again, or at least dominated the market in their own country. I think the German and Japanese manufacturers are going to catch on (or copy), but I'd be happy to see the U.S. win.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 25, 2016 ---
    Why are you blaming the Germans? The Americans and Japanese have been doing even worse. Seems like nobody except Mercedes innovated at all from the 70s to the 90s. The Japanese manufacturers did OK, and the American ones almost seemed to get worse and produced utter garbage. From the 2000s onwards, we saw all the new technology in German cars first except for Toyota's hybrid technology.
     
  23. Markoth, Jan 25, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

    Markoth macrumors regular

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    No, we mean a disruption in the car industry, no the space-time continuum. Wait'll quantum computers go mainstream. Just don't look at it, or it may stop working.
     
  24. VTECaddict macrumors 6502

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    What?

    Aluminum is lighter, but not as strong as steel, so while the outer cosmetic pieces (hoods, fenders, etc) are being made out of aluminum more often now, the underlying structure (the bulk of a car's weight) still has to be steel. Aluminum is also more expensive than steel, so from a cost standpoint it doesn't make sense to use aluminum - especially in cheaper cars. BMW has innovated a lot with CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and is the first automaker to employ CFRP on a wide production scale in the chassis of the i3, i8 and new 7 series, with future models to employ more CFRP as they are replaced with the new generations.

    The internal combustion engine is inherently a very inefficient method of converting energy. You are literally lighting a fuel on fire to extract its energy, so the majority of that energy is going to be wasted in heat. You can only do so much to it to make it more efficient, but there has definitely been a lot of innovation to increase the efficiency of the ICE over the years. Things like fuel injection, variable valve timing, variable cam phasing, forced induction, increased compression ratios, electronic engine management, etc. Transmission technology has also improved a lot maximize the efficiency and performance of the ICE, with many cars today coming with 7-10 speed automatics or CVTs.

    Mazda is currently working on HCCI gasoline engines (diesel-like auto-ignition due to compression instead of a spark) that improve efficiency by as much as 30%. The real future will be electric, but the battery technology and infrastructure are not at the point where we can replace the ICE in any significant scale right now.

    There has been a recent trend in the automotive world to downsize and increase efficiency. Automakers are utilizing smaller turbocharged engines to replace bigger ones. The new aluminum body Ford F150 is lighter than the previous. The new BMW 7 series utilizing CFRP is lighter than the previous.

    I think theres a lot of ideas that engineers have up their sleeve that can't be implemented yet due to limitations in current technology, materials science, and/or production ability. Just like how Steve Jobs probably came up with the concept of the iPad decades ago, but it wasn't possible to make it a reality until 2010.
     
  25. Robert.Walter macrumors 6502a

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    It would be quite funny to see reactions if instead of developing a c-segment electric car, Apple turns out to develop a super aerodynamic Class 9 electric semi truck replacing turbo-diesel engines with a huge easily exchangeable plug and play battery pack slung under the trailer in the dead space between the front and rear wheels.
     

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