Silicon Valley Talent Packs Bags for Detroit

Toyota’s Kuffner (left) and GM’s Steyn among outsiders to jump to autos. Joe Wilssens TRAVERSE CITY, MI – After years of playing second fiddle to Silicon Valley, the automobile industry is emerging as a destination for upstart talent on the back of vehicles crammed with software and next-generation computing technology. “It is absolutely true,” says Jason Kuffner, chief technology officer-Toyota Research Institute, a robotics expert who jumped to the Japanese automaker from Google. Kuffner says his Silicon Valley colleagues increasingly are pursuing positions at automakers once considered dinosaurs of industry, because manufacturers no longer recognize the car as a mechanically driven object but as a software platform ripe for development. “Like your phone no longer just makes calls, the automobile performs all kinds of connected tasks,” Kuffner tells WardsAuto on the sidelines…


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