Car Tech: VW Drives Into Silicon Valley

Automakers look West for in-car technology

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Scott Budman
    Volkswagen is the latest car company to announce that it is coming to the Silicon Valley.

    Google Earth on your GPS.  Wi-Fi powering your iPad in the back seat.  Music pumping through the speakers from Pandora.  It's no wonder auto companies are looking to Silicon Valley these days:  They love the products, and now they want in on the innovation.

    Volkswagen is one of several car companies working here. Its Electronic Research Lab (ERL) aims to marry traditional automotive engineering with Silicon Valley know-how, to turn your car into a rolling unit of innovation.

    We've seen this before.  Hollywood now rarely makes a movie without a Silicon Valley tech component - it's built into the movie industry. 

    VW admits that, yes, there are a lot of good things about the car industry in places like Germany and Detroit, but even so, it wants to be here as well.

    With new gadgets to improve things like vehicle interface (tech-speak for stuff on your dashboard), robotics, and safety, expect to see other car companies cruise into the Valley.  The back-seat WiFi?  Already in the Audi A8 - after being tested here.

    More to come, on its way to a dealership near you. Meanwhile you can check out some pictures from the new VW Silicon Valley outpost below.

    Scott will take you inside the new VW facility tonight at 6.  He’s on Twitter:  @scottbudman.