We’ve already told you that Palo Alto in California is the place to be for any high-tech startup as the location is known for hosting Ford Motor Co. and Google headquarters among others.
What makes this story interesting is that Detroit has become the designated place by Google to build a fleet of driverless cars. This way, there is a geographical crossing of boundaries between industries. While Silicon Valley has research labs opened by carmakers and auto suppliers who are looking to develop amazing infotainment systems and autonomous cars, tech companies reach and choose Detroit to get a better grasp of the auto industry but to also include their software in vehicles. This exchange has led to competition and cooperation both between two industries that were not connected a few years ago – it is a love story between cars and computers. Niall Berkerey, chief of Telenav Detroit, a company that produces navigation software explained that they are educating both sides of the businesses. Another side of this story is that employees seem to be switching from one company to another in Palo Alto. While Apple hired Fiat Chrysler’s former quality head, Uber took on 40 researchers and scientists from Carnegie Mellon’s Pittsburgh robotics lab. Moreover, Tesla’s chief of car development is a former employee of Apple’s.
Former Apple engineer and current technical director of Ford’s Palo Alto research lab, Dragos Maciuca, said that is is quite exciting to see this change in the auto industry in Silicon Valley and that cars offer a sense of achievement for software engineers in comparison to writing codes.
Nvidia, which is based in Santa Clara, California, was known for making computer games chips previous to engaging in the auto affaires. At the moment it is manufacturing computer processors that power Tesla’s 17-inch touchscreen dashboard and Audi’s experimental self-driving cars.
Detroit and Silicon Valley are responsible for mixing cars and technology and for giving drivers the possibility of updated infotainment and constantly improved features. We can only wait and see if Google manages to launch its self-driving car in the following five years and what secret project Apple has for which it hired people from Tesla, Ford and other carmakers.
By Gabriela Florea