Detroit is coming to Silicon Valley.
The last few years have seen an explosion of carmakers, parts suppliers and car startups sinking roots in the fertile soil of California. They’re there because three forces are remaking the auto industry, and mobility more generally: self-driving cars, electrification, and shared transport controlled by your smartphone (think Lyft and Uber).
Silicon Valley thinks it can dominate all three. Detroit is sacred they’re right.
As a result, there’s been a flurry of high-profile acquisitions and investments (such as GM’s nearly $1 billion purchase of Cruise Automation and $500 million investment in Lyft), conservative parts suppliers suddenly scrambling to find ways to build self-driving vehicles, and tech companies like Apple negotiating with BMW over its rumored Project Titan car effort.
Quartz asked real-estate services firm CBRE to put together a list of all the tech firms entering the car business and auto players who have set up shop in Silicon Valley. There’s 64 in all, and more arriving. Most are clustered in San Francisco, but San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley’s hardware cluster, is close behind.
In a way, this is just a return to Silicon Valley’s pioneering days. Hardware was once the great success story, from Fairchild Semiconductor to Intel. By the late 1990s, software was ascendent. Today, building better machines is back in fashion. The car industry is the new frontier. Here’s a list of all the auto industry and tech players located, or setting up outposts, in Silicon Valley.
|Auro Robotics||Santa Clara|
|BMW Group Technology Office||Mountain View||Yes|
|Bosch Research and Technology Center North America||Palo Alto||Yes|
|Caruma Technologies, Inc.||San Francisco|
|Cobalt Robotics Inc.||Palo Alto|
|Continental Tires||San Jose|
|Cruise Automation||San Francisco|