Since technology companies are trespassing more and more into automotive industry territory, it’s only logic for the traditional automakers to return the favor and establish bases in the heart of the innovation region.
Honda, the third largest Japanese automaker is only the latest in a stream of competitors, such as Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Nissan-Renault to increase its presence in Silicon Valley. The company has just opened a newly built research and development center in Mountain View, California, which is also the location of Google’s headquarters and sitting close to the tech corridor that stretches south from San Francisco and houses technology behemoths such as Apple, Facebook, Oracle, Intel and HP. “As an industry, we are on the verge of some major transformational changes brought on by the convergence of what have been, to this point, largely disparate technology disciplines,” commented Honda R&D Americas President Frank Paluch.
“Honda will embrace and help lead this convergence. Our operations in Silicon Valley are a testimony to our focus on this new direction in our product and technology development efforts,” he added.
Honda also marked the occasion by showcasing its latest new open innovation research and development initiative, called the Honda Honda Xcelerator. It will be tasked with delivering the resources needed for breakthrough technology innovators to showcase their prototypes of new technical systems and features that would be well used in tomorrow’s vehicles. The program will lure in innovators by providing funding for proof-of-concept tests and the chance to work jointly with Honda engineers in Silicon Valley under the guidance of the company’s mentors.