Palo Alto is home to Stanford University and its own University Street where Google, Facebook, Yahoo and the like got their start.

US Auto Industry Sets Up Shop in Silicon Valley

Palo Alto is also the new home to Ford Smart Mobility. The Michigan automaker is looking for inspiration in the brains of my neighbors to the east.

I live in Sunnyvale, location of another branch of a well-known German automaker - Mercedes. The Mercedes logo shines brightly off the side of a building made of the same stuff as LinkedIn across the street. I mean the same stuff - green tainted windows.

I am not sure who to blame or give credit for the new appeal to the old US auto giants.

Google or Tesla. The Tesla factory is about miles east of Palo Alto in Fremont.

Ford and General Motors and Self-driving Cars

To be sure, Ford is likely to be taking aim at the self-driving car, preferably the ones that stay out of the way of buses.

Meanwhile, GM has thrown $1 billion at a startup, Cruise Automation, here in Silicon Valley, too.

Cruise Automation is 3-years old. The company has built an autopilot system for cars. Cruise Automation distinguishes themselves in that their knowhow can be installed in cars that are already on the road.

10 Years in Buffalo 1 winter

I remember when I spent 10 years in Buffalo, NY one winter. Stop. Think. That's funny. If you have ever been to Buffalo you will know that 10 years under a pile of snow big enough to keep Lake Erie full is like a year in Arizona watching spring training.

The first thing I bought when I moved to Buffalo for my cars were remote starters. I wanted to start my car and have it be warmed up before I got into it.

Going forward, if GM and Ford have their way, we will start installing self-driving kits.

Somebody else in Silicon Valley will let us program the car to take us where we want to go after or before we can get in, of course, after it is warmed up or cooled down.

Wait. I think Tesla is on that.

To be sure. We do more than computer chips here in Silicon Valley. Pretty soon, they'll be saying, "Silicon Valley drives the world."

Don't miss our page on Facebook!