The work at the Nvidia Technology Center will build on what the graphics chip maker already has done in the automotive industry, where it powers in-dashboard digital instrument clusters, and navigation and information displays in more than 4 million vehicles made by such companies as Audi, BMW, Rolls Royce and Volkswagen, officials said.
“[Michigan] is where consumer electronics and safety advancements are being made that will change the driving experience for all of us,” Danny Shapiro, director of marketing at Nvidia for its automotive efforts, wrote in a post on the company blog.
Shapiro noted that Nvidia has been working with Michigan automakers for years, and has a number of employees already living in the state. He also pointed out that Nvidia is not alone among tech vendors who see a good growth opportunity in the burgeoning connected-car space. Just as automakers are hiring software developers to create in-car apps, tech companies are looking to build products for automobiles.
Companies from AT&T and Sprint to Nokia, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Broadcom are looking to make inroads into the space. According to a 2012 report from market research firm Visiongain, the connected car market could generate almost $22 billion in revenues this year.
In a study released in May, Cisco found that almost half of consumers worldwide—about 47 percent—consider a car company’s reputation for technology when making a purchase decision. In addition, the survey showed the ubiquitous use of technology not only in the car, but also during the process of shopping for and buying the auto, from the 83 percent of respondents who said they research cars online to 61 percent who use the manufacturer’s Website.
"Most consumers expect to be connected to the Internet wherever they are,” Andreas Mai, director of product marketing for Cisco’s Connected Industries Group, said in a statement at the time. “Since they may spend much of their time in their car, it stands to reason they want their car to be more connected. This consumer survey confirms that it is time to take the Internet to the road and into our cars."