Are Self-Driving Cars Safe?

Mercedes CEO shares what you need to know about the future of cars.
5:42 | 07/01/14

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Transcript for Are Self-Driving Cars Safe?
Millions of Americans to commute think that it's the most miserable part of the day it's certainly. When I -- -- Minneapolis was not my favorite part of the day but if your car could drive you instead of you driving your car to work. While it might alleviate some stress. Does buzzing about self driving cars like this one. You see on Google's lot Google's model as you see here. It goes just 25 miles an hour so he couldn't possibly drive that -- on the highway at least not yet but industry insiders say this technology is the first glimpse of the road to the future. And I want to bring in a man who knows a thing or two about cars Stephen cannon is president and CEO Mercedes-Benz in the US so nice to have you with -- Thanks Rebecca -- to be here so we're just talking about the fact that. Mercedes is having a blockbuster year these car companies are having a blockbuster year what's going on here. Stock markets could -- housing is recovering we found ourselves kind of back to pre recession levels in the automobile industry so. Kind of back to 2007 levels the overall industry is around sixteen point four million so nice growth 5% over last year. So there's still a strong robust demand out there it's almost like automotive is leading the way for the economy. You feel like there's momentum and what's interesting about Mercedes in particular is. You're releasing a couple of very different types of cars this year first of all one -- what you would call an entry level car -- 30000 dollar car so. I'm the less expensive end of the Specter and then. This. Electric car which this is the first for Mercedes right. A lot of this growth this is products are driven growth so great models are coming out -- -- capturing kinda interest of folks in for us. We're in a huge -- defensive were about to watch for all new models this year. Kind of at the entry point that -- -- GO -- where he crossover at around the 30000 dollar price point is -- and open up the -- invite you customers in for Mercedes-Benz. Watching the first zero emission electric vehicle in just two weeks for Mercedes-Benz that's the. Is really on that level of the spectrum the electric car you know Tesla has their version of it General Motors Ford have versions of it. Is that you're -- real demand there or do you think it's more a matter of we have to get this out there because eventually there will be -- demand out there. It's a little bit of both so there is natural demand out there but out of at a relatively low level as gas prices tend to spike that interest increases along when it. But it's going to be a slow steady -- of electric -- -- getting in the game. Now is important. Because from now to 20/20 five as -- zero emission mandates come in from the government there will be a much larger population of electric vehicles on the car they are on the on the road today. Because first -- if you're gonna have to make them and consumers will ultimately demand them an Indian particularly we've just been seeing for example. Gasoline prices now their highest level in six years for the fourth of July weekend so people are. Paying attention to that. Up the other thing that people are paying attention to is all of this new technology and -- my driver -- cars we showed the Google car can only go 25 miles per hour. Up in my conversation earlier this year with Mary Barr the CEO GM she said driver less technology will be there that it's only a matter of time. What do you think the real time line is before we actually see these cars and and is the American appetite there to actually have a car for example driving down the freeway without -- -- driving it great. So the technology is -- all -- getting that it all the wielding the loving this right now. We could be doing this in fact Mercedes-Benz. Has got -- Prototype vehicle on the road today. It's in Germany it's its driver lists. So the -- the building blocks -- there you -- -- class today we've got intelligent drive which has gotten most of those the car can steer itself the car can break itself it combines a stereo camera that sees the road together with long and short range radar that measures kind of closing distance to the objects in front of it so all of those systems are in place now. And over time they're gonna transition from driver assist systems to autonomous systems. One the big bits of news in your industry right now is the crisis that General Motors who instigated by this ignition recall took the company. Over a decade to make the recall. And yet. We're hearing all of these recalls from General Motors and just this morning they came out with their June sales sales are up 1% they have now recalled almost thirty million cars this year that's the most recalled cars. And any company in a single year ever. It seems like the American consumer isn't as focused on recalls is that -- get. I think there are they are focused on that I mean there's certainly at an and -- an amount of noise out there in the market place that feels unprecedented. But when someone needs to buy car they go to their local dealer they go to a brand that -- that they're used to and -- -- -- that muscle memory I think still kicks in so folks who went to their GM -- and and buy another product so. Who's who's -- you. Feel like -- recalls are becoming more standard though because it its strikes me that. If you hear a car is associated with fatalities. But that you continue to go in and buy cars from -- maker. The fact that Americans are shrugging this up -- I'm not asking you understand your there your competition. But it has the psychology changed the I don't. I don't think so -- the -- at the end for brand like Mercedes-Benz that so focused on safety we've got a very close relationship with needs when we've. Find a problem in the marketplace we generally reacted well before needs -- tells us to react so that's how we deal with things like recalls we do proactively. Steve thank you so much for joining us Mercedes-Benz and that the -- electric car coming out the two weeks yet to take a look for are thanks Rebecca.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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