Automakers have been making a beeline for Central California in recent years, setting up a number of research and engineering facilities in the shadows of such consumer electronics giants as Google and Apple. But could the migration be turning around?
A major Silicon Valley firm, Nvidia, which made a name supplying high-end graphics for the gaming industry, is reversing the trend by setting up a technical center in Ann Arbor, less than an hour outside to Detroit, the traditional epicenter of the auto industry.
Danny Shapiro, director of automotive for Nvidia Corp., said the new facility will help the company’s growing team of Michigan-based engineers and executives work with automakers and suppliers to develop the next generation of infotainment , navigation and driver assistance programs – all of which can make driving safer and more enjoyable.
“Silicon Valley is the future, Detroit is the past,” said Shapiro. “That’s the conventional wisdom. Well, the conventional wisdom isn’t quite right. We’ve been investing in Michigan for years and we’re accelerating these efforts by opening the Nvidia Technology Center.