“Four decades ago, Japanese auto companies anticipated U.S. demand for fuel efficient cars and hit the market with vehicles that caught the Detroit Three by surprise, permanently altering the ranks of the biggest auto makers,” Mike Ramsey reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Today, the disrupters are bubbling up from California’s Silicon Valley. As software giants and startups rush to make smarter vehicles, established car makers are scrambling to avoid becoming victims of another sea change,” Ramsey reports. “The most common response: setting up research offices in the technology industry’s backyard.”

“Getting there involves a detour to Silicon Valley. Most major car makers and many of the top auto suppliers, including Robert Bosch GmbH and Delphi Automotive PLC have Bay Area research outposts. Ford Motor Co. recently moved into a new Palo Alto, Calif., office and plans to quadruple its staff there this year. German luxury brands have been picking up talent and technology here since the 1990s,” Ramsey reports. “The location gives them access to the region’s tech powerhouses, including Google Inc. and Apple Inc. who are vying for a piece of the automotive market.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If a vehicle doesn’t interface exceedingly well with our iOS devices – meaning offer CarPlay – it’s off our list.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David E.” for the heads up.]

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Apple’s CarPlay looks like the future of in-car infotainment – April 13, 2014