It also shows exactly where the seeds for our current infatuation were sown. That is, not at Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, or Audi—but rather at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, NC State, Ohio State, and a slew of other schools and technology firms populated with robotics engineers and software geniuses all gravitating toward Silicon Valley, to be snapped up by Google, Apple, Uber, and others…
So in spite of the fact that the auto industry has historically shown little interest in taking driving away from its customers, and in spite of the fact that there’s no definitive interest in or demand for autonomous technology—remembering, of course, that benefits, safety, convenience or otherwise, don’t always equate to demand—every major manufacturer has cozied up to autonomy startups, opened their own “mobility” research and development centers in Silicon Valley, and aggressively announced their hot pursuit of autonomous driving technology.
So that means, of course, that it’s entirely Silicon Valley’s fault. Sort of.