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Self Driving Machines is a battle for your soul and that of Detroit!

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G. David Felt
Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com

 

Self Driving Machines is a battle for your soul and that of Detroit!

 

Wall Street Journal had the following story, Detroit Battles for the Soul of Self-Driving Machines. In reading this I felt it was more about Self Driving Machines and the battle for Detroit and your soul as a driver.

 

The story goes on to follow an engineer who left Caterpillar and went to Ford only to end up at a startup that is doing far more inline with High Tech software companies than auto companies. It made me wonder if the new Detroit is not the west coast now. The amount of technology that is being aimed at the auto industry, self driving cars, internet access, updates on the fly, etc. makes it seem like the future auto's will be more of an electric device you update to get the latest and greatest and for those that want performance with customization, you pay an extra fee and get it.

 

It is amazing to see where employment is at in this industry and how software engineers are driving the creation of new jobs and growth.

 

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The story covers how GM just bought Cruise Automation for $1 Billion dollars. Toyota just also bought a competitor company for $1 Billion dollars and the engineers are extremely wealthy now as GM's company was a 20 person startup, Toyota's company was a 16 person startup. Ford just bought a software cloud computing company for $182 million to expand their software expertise without adding layers of employees at corp. Even Tesla is not immune to the brain drain that is pulling talented people away from building advanced tech autos at established companies and going to startups.

 

The story goes on about the signing bonuses at more than $25,000 a year and how Google and Apple is just consuming them with traditional high paying software development paying jobs that the auto industry is not used to paying.

 

The interesting ending comment is from GM, Quote: “The notion that we’re hiring someone at GM, cradle to grave, a lifer, that’s dead,” Mr. Huffaker said. The goal instead is to get them to stay longer, he said.

 

This was a great story that talks to me and shows just how technology is radically changing the auto industry at a pace they have never dealt with before and could make evolutionary changes in just a few years compared to the 20-30 years it used to take to cause profound change in a product line.

 

Check it out and sound off on what your thoughts are on this!

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