Porsche opening a new "innovation center" in Silicon Valley

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【Summary】Luxury automaker Porsche is opening a new satellite office in Santa Clara, to help it get better connected to Silicon Valley’s startup and venture capital scene, and the region’s rapidly growing automotive technology industry.

Original Eric Walz    May 05, 2017 10:07 AM PT
Porsche opening a new

By Eric Walz

Luxury automaker Porsche is opening a new satellite office in Silicon Valley, California to help it get better connected to Silicon Valley's startup and venture capital scene, and the region's rapidly growing automotive technology industry.

The office will employ 100 people, Porsche Digital said in an announcement on Friday. Porsche Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of Porsche AG. The arm of the company focuses on connected cars, smart mobility, and autonomous driving.

The carmaker created Porsche Digital in May of 2016, when it opened its first two innovation centers in Germany. Porsche plans to open a future office in China.

"The car is the ultimate mobile device of the future, and the future is being written in Silicon Valley," Porsche Digital Managing Director Thilo Koslowski said in a statement. "This means it is particularly important to be right next door to leading IT companies in the USA, as this allows us to identify trends early and invest in new technologies at the right time. In addition to our own potential for innovation, above all we want to form strong partnerships."

Some these partnerships are the many technology companies working on self-driving technology and hardware which are located in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Before serving as Porsche Digital's managing director ,Koslowski spent nearly two decades with Gartner,  information technology research and advisory company also located in Silicon Valley. At Gartner he worked  as an analyst focused on mobile computing and connected cars. In a 2013 Wired article, he wrote about connected cars, and viewed automobiles as the "ultimate mobile device". He envisions vehicles connected to the Internet, sharing data about each trip.

Last year, Porsche Digital invested in German parking startup Evopark, which developed a convenient way to park in busy urban area parking lots by offering a parking card which contains a RFID chip, so the time of your entry and exit is recorded digitally. Drivers with the card can pay conveniently at the end of the month.

Porsche Digital says it plans to make more investments in Silicon Valley, and is looking for additional companies to partner with in the area. The Porsche office will be located in Santa Clara, California.

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