Volkswagen and Mercedes voice concerns over Google’s in-car systems

19 Nov 2014

Automobile manufacturing giants Volkswagen and Mercedes have revealed they have concerns that internet services provider Google may be using its in-car systems to gather too much data about their customers.

The companies voiced their objections at a European car industry conference last month, revealing concerns that a potential conflict may arise around making the gathered data available.

Google currently provides in-car interfaces and mapping services to manufacturers. Data acquired by the systems could potentially be of use to firms for sales and marketing purposes.

“Google tries to accompany people throughout their day, to generate data and then use that data for economic gain. It’s at that point where a conflict with Google seems pre-programmed. That’s where we need to negotiate,” said Mercedes chief executive Dieter Zetsche, as reported by The Irish Times.

Last May, Google revealed the design of its first own-brand self-driving car, suggesting it may one day go head to head with the likes of Volkswagen and Mercedes.

“The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today,” said Google co-founder Sergey Brin upon the announcement. 

“There’s not great public transportation in many public places in the United States.”

Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic