Daimler chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche said different types of cooperation with Apple, Google and other Silicon Valley companies should be possible in the future.
Speaking in a quarterly interview with German magazine Deutsche Unternehmerboerse, Zetsche said the next-generation autos cannot be built without partnership with telecom and software companies.
Zetsche comment mirrors statements made by other auto manufacturers like Fiat, Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors. All are starting to see the importance of cooperation with software giants.
For now, the cooperation extends to the dashboard, but in the future autom manufacturers may look for safety, self-driving and artificial intelligence to be added into the car.
Having safer vehicles is always a plus and most see self-driving as the future. Tesla Motors has already committed to building an autonomous feature inside the Model S, and both Ford and General Motors are in talks with Google.
There is a worry Google will become the only self-driving provider for auto manufacturers. Tesla and Audi both have self-driving platforms, but those are closed.
Apple does not seem to be interested in opening its self-driving platform up either. It has never been a company willing to offer its platform to other companies, with iOS and Mac OS only available on Apple products.
Zetsche said he does not plan on turning Daimler a hardware provider to Silicon Valley giants.