Mercedes-Benz Maker Remains Open to 'Different Types' of Collaboration With Apple

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Amid rumors that Apple is working on a top-secret automotive project ranging from its own electric car to a CarPlay-related technology platform for vehicles, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler AG remains open to "different types" of cooperation with Apple, reports Reuters.
"Many things are conceivable," Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in an interview with quarterly magazine Deutsche Unternehmerboerse published on Friday.
Silicon Valley is becoming increasingly important for automakers as vehicles become more deeply integrated with the latest technologies such as CarPlay and Android Auto, and companies such as Apple and Google could play an even bigger role as self-driving vehicles hit the streets over the next five-plus years.
"Google and Apple want to provide system software for cars and bring this entire ecosystem around Apple and Google into the vehicle," Zetsche said. "That can be interesting for both sides."
Last September, Apple hired former Mercedes-Benz R&D President and CEO Johann Jungwirth, who has over a decade of experience working on connected cars, autonomous driving, testing and regulatory affairs and more. According to his LinkedIn profile, he worked at Daimler between October 1997 and September 2014 and is now Director of Mac Systems Engineering at Apple.


Apple Car rumors gained momentum in February when The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has hundreds of employees, including former Tesla, Ford and GM engineers, working on an electric vehicle at a top-secret research lab possibly located in the Sunnyvale area. The rumored project, known internally as "Project Titan," could be under testing at GoMentum Station, a former naval base in the Bay Area.

Article Link: Mercedes-Benz Maker Remains Open to 'Different Types' of Collaboration With Apple
 
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SkippyThorson

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Apple + Smart. I can see it now. Plastic, rust-free, any-color-you-want exterior panels, with a contrasting, 3-layer-steel Tridion roll cage, a nice CarPlay (iOS In The Car) headunit, and most of all, self-driving ability.

Plus, Apple was reportedly interested in the way more quirky BMW i3...

Furthermore, while the new gas model [from Daimler-Benz] is due this Fall, the Electric Drive and Cabriolet versions are seeing a production run starting next year. Kind of makes you wonder what major changes the electric is undergoing in that extended timeframe.

 
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bennibeef

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Apple + Smart. I can see it now. Plastic with a steel Tridion roll cage, nice headunit, Self-driving. Plus, they were reportedly interested in the way more quirky BMW i3...
The smart is cool and all, but I cant see Apple with the Smart. The smart is a nice town car but nothing at it feels well crafted. Driving that thing sucks big too.

But then again, I love my Benz and Apple + Mercedes I'd love that too.
 

Rogifan

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I'll say it again, I don't see Apple putting technology in someone else's product. The last time they did that was Motorola ROKR and we all know how that turned out. Right now I see CarPlay as iTunes on the ROKR.
 

0815

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That is great and all - but I am still waiting for the long promised arrival of CarPlay at the MB dealers....

When I bought my CLA 1 1/2 years ago, they had announced that by end of that year the updated CLA will have CarPlay and that older models can get it too. The promise for older models they took already away, but I also don't see any of their new cars with CarPlay ....
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Furthermore, while the new gas model is due this Fall
I'm really confused. What the hell are you talking about? Apple may or may not ever release a car, but if they ever do, I'm certain it won't use an ICE. Apple has been touting how green they are for nearly a decade, and how they're at 100% renewable for all new projects and working towards 100% renewable for past projects (or did they already achieve that?) They're not going to suddenly release a car using an ICE - that would turn them into hypocrites. No matter how fuel efficient an ICE is, it'll never come close to an all electric car in terms of minimizing environmental impact.
 
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jayducharme

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The thick of it
he worked at Daimler between October 1997 and September 2014 and is now Director of Mac Systems Engineering at Apple.
Great. Now instead of a log-in screen on my Mac, there'll be an ignition switch.

The smart is a nice town car but nothing at it feels well crafted.
That's true of the gas-powered version, which is one of the worst cars I've ever driven. But I have the EV version of the Smart and it's a completely different beast, much more like driving a luxury car. Ironically, it came with a "smart" entertainment system of poor quality. When I recently asked the Mercedes dealer if I could get a CarPlay model installed instead, they said absolutely not.
 
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SkippyThorson

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The smart is cool and all, but I cant see Apple with the Smart. The smart is a nice town car but nothing at it feels well crafted. Driving that thing sucks big too.

But then again, I love my Benz and Apple + Mercedes I'd love that too.
It's fun without being beefy-American-coupe fun; almost unexplainable, really. People that have them love them, people that don't will hate them, but yet everyone knows more about everyone else when it comes to them. It's always a conversation starter. I've had mine for years, Euro'ed it up, and I drive the snot out of it!

I'm really confused. What the hell are you talking about? Apple may or may not ever release a car, but if they ever do, I'm certain it won't use an ICE. Apple has been touting how green they are for nearly a decade, and how they're at 100% renewable for all new projects and working towards 100% renewable for past projects (or did they already achieve that?) They're not going to suddenly release a car using an ICE - that would turn them into hypocrites. No matter how fuel efficient an ICE is, it'll never come close to an all electric car in terms of minimizing environmental impact.
???

I didn't argue for or against any points of efficiency, nor did I say Apple is releasing a car.

The actual fact is that Daimler-Benz is releasing the redesigned ICE Smart this Fall.

Maybe you thought I meant Apple is releasing a car, but if that's not it, I'm not sure what you interpreted...
 
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Rogifan

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Do you guys see Apple working with BMW or Mercedes? Which would be a better fit?
How about neither? Apple didn't go to Tag and say lets do a Watch together, they did their own. I don't know if BMW manufactures for others but if they do I could see Apple partnering in that way as I don't see Apple doing their own manufacturing.
 

Iconoclysm

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I'll say it again, I don't see Apple putting technology in someone else's product. The last time they did that was Motorola ROKR and we all know how that turned out. Right now I see CarPlay as iTunes on the ROKR.
I liken CarPlay to a remote desktop client for a different OS. It's lightweight software that simply becomes a remote display with input, after all.
 
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69Mustang

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How about neither? Apple didn't go to Tag and say lets do a Watch together, they did their own. I don't know if BMW manufactures for others but if they do I could see Apple partnering in that way as I don't see Apple doing their own manufacturing.
None of the big automotive companies are single source manufacturers anymore. There is so much platform sharing it's hard to say what's from whom in cars today. BMW and Toyota are partnering on a platform that will become a small hybrid/EV sports coupe for both companies. Different sheet metal but the same architecture. There's no doubt if Apple produces a car it will be based off architecture from current manufacturers and contract assembled, that's if the car is intended for mass production. If the volumes are boutique like Ferrari or Lamborghini, the car could be manufactured anywhere.
 

Andres Cantu

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How about neither? Apple didn't go to Tag and say lets do a Watch together, they did their own. I don't know if BMW manufactures for others but if they do I could see Apple partnering in that way as I don't see Apple doing their own manufacturing.
Your Watch analogy contradicts the point you're making about the car. I'm just asking based on the rumor that Apple might use a BMW electric i3 as a base for their own car. Since it's just a rumor at this point, there is the possibility that they might use another car as a base, perhaps a Mercedes.
 
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nando87

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How about neither? Apple didn't go to Tag and say lets do a Watch together, they did their own. I don't know if BMW manufactures for others but if they do I could see Apple partnering in that way as I don't see Apple doing their own manufacturing.
BMW provided platforms and engines to Wiesmann, Mercedes provides AMG engines to Pagani and will provide engines, platforms and electronics to Aston Martin (has 5% stake in it)
 

2457282

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I'll say it again, I don't see Apple putting technology in someone else's product. The last time they did that was Motorola ROKR and we all know how that turned out. Right now I see CarPlay as iTunes on the ROKR.
I owned the ROKR - two actually. But your point is important. Apple first install their software on someone else's hardware and in the process learned about phones. Later they built their own phone. The same could be true here.

CarPlay-related technology platform
This could be their first step into the car business. My sense is that apple isn't like google that likes to make big splashes with half baked ideas. They will get there slowly and methodically and end up with a significantly more polished product in the end. Apple has never been first (except for the original apple computer that was the first commercially successful personal computer), but they have consistently come in and done it better (except for some of their services, like Music, Maps, and iCloud).
 

spiffers

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Apple + Smart. I can see it now. Plastic, rust-free, any-color-you-want exterior panels, with a contrasting, 3-layer-steel Tridion roll cage, a nice CarPlay (iOS In The Car) headunit, and most of all, self-driving ability.

Plus, Apple was reportedly interested in the way more quirky BMW i3...

Furthermore, while the new gas model [from Daimler-Benz] is due this Fall, the Electric Drive and Cabriolet versions are seeing a production run starting next year. Kind of makes you wonder what major changes the electric is undergoing in that extended timeframe.
Apple and Mercedes, both premium brands. Mercedes already has CarPlay, thats a nice start. And they are heavily involved in electric cars. They had shares in Tesla and brought a lot of knowledge to the table in that partnership (as well as seats, levers, knobs, steeringwheel and a lot of other stuff).
Mercedes has a great electric car, the B-class Electric Drive. And its built on the drivetrain by Tesla. At least both B and Smart looks better than the horriffic BMW i3, looks like a pig, and drives like crap.
 
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