Metro Detroit’s tech job growth was nearly 2x the national average in recent years
For the last few years, the automotive presence at CES has gone from noticeable to taking over. In January of this year, there was so much car tech at CES that I watched a Bosch technology that allowed a car to park itself, drove a smart car that connected not only to a smart phone but to a smart watch, tried inductive chargers built into vehicles, and evaluated in-car app marketplaces. Intel, Qualcomm, Apple, Google, and other tech companies are developing technologies specifically for automobiles. Cars are already pretty technical, with lane-keep technologies that correct your driving if you drift, radar that can anticipate an accident ahead, and sensors that can “see” obstacles in your path. But the future car will be so technically endowed that it will not only be able to heal itself by updating code from the Internet, drive itself, and communicate with other cars as you fly down the freeway.
Many engineers who once worked in the wireless industry are now working in Detroit because car manufacturers have been hiring out of the wireless and the IT industries so they can put these kinds of technologies into the design of their cars. Paul Hedtke, senior director, Business Development, Qualcomm People are – and will be – building those technologies. And someone – be it automobile manufacturers or companies they outsource to – will be hiring those people.
I spoke to an app developer who works for GM’s Onstar recently so I know some of this work is happening at the car companies. I also spoke to Paul Hedtke, senior director of Business Development at Qualcomm last week about what’s coming to vehicles from the mobile chip and modem maker. If you are a geek who loves his wheels, can you hope to combine those two interests? “This is an industry that is certainly going to continue to grow as all these connected vehicles are interfacing with the cloud,” he agreed. “Either the car makers will do it or they will outsource it to telematics makers such as Verizon telematics.”
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