That’s a quote from Tracey Grose, vice president of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, who is noticing heightened interest from automakers in the region’s science and innovation culture.
As was reported over the summer by the Wall Street Journal, this phenomenon is not just limited to the manufacturing presence of Tesla in the East Bay; many other automakers have opened technology R&D centers in Silicon Valley in the last few years. While we don’t expect to see additional Tesla-like vehicle assembly, it’s clear that the power center of automotive innovation is moving west.
The Bay Area brain-trust has challenged Detroit’s leadership in the industry’s most promising growth areas, including autonomous vehicles, connected cars and cloud-based services. Some would argue that Detroit was complacent and not concerned over losing its innovation edge to the geeks over at Google. We believe this was inevitable; Silicon Valley took note of automotive technologies many years ago and is now carving out new realities that are impacting the design and development of vehicles around the world.
We have pushed for better collaboration between the auto and tech industries for fear that innovation in the auto industry will be stifled or misdirected. Recognizing Silicon Valley as the ultimate source for innovation in this connected age is a first step toward bolstering the entire automotive industry and securing its future.
To learn firsthand from thought leaders from the automotive and tech industry on how the auto industry’s balance of power is shifting westward, we invite you to join C3 and the Western Automotive Journalists on October 20 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California for Silicon Valley Reinvents the Wheel. Click here to register.
Source: Detroit fears of losing carmaking to Silicon Valley – USA Today