Silicon Valley and the car business are converging hence making high-tech code meet heavy metal. Over the past few years, the convergence between car producers and tech companies has accelerated.
Ford alongside China’s Baidu is investing $150 million in Velodyne, a tech company that makes laser-radar Lidar systems. Ford has been working with Velodyne for a decade and uses the expensive Lidar “pucks” on its fleet or self-driving cars, currently undergoing testing in several states.
the General Motors, Fords, and Toyotas of the world are making a lot of money right now, as auto markets boom. And they’re taking their profits and investing in an uncertain future, but one whose shape is becoming clearer.
The trend is that city dwellers are increasing the pace at which they use ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. Urbanites haven’t traditionally been good car customers, because they don’t need vehicles. But they do need transportation. And so traditional automakers are striving to bring them into the fold, as well as avoid being left behind if, say, Uber gets really big.
The trend is already intensifying. Expect it pick up even more speed in the years ahead. Self-driving cars are happening much faster than anyone expected. So automakers are also getting aggressive about acquiring and investing on that front.