Come for the Treadmill Desk, Stay for the...

Issue 05-15-17   |   Reviewer:   Katherine Campbell, Ph.D.


The introduction of self-driving cars is on the horizon and represents a potentially disruptive change for the automobile industry.

Technology companies are positioned to potentially become competitors with traditional automakers. In response, U.S. automakers are acquiring companies that are developing self-driving software and trying to modify their own cultures to be more attractive to young software engineers and electronics experts.

Detroit-based Ford and GM are using newly designed workspaces, flexible work schedules, treadmill desks, etc., to attract talent. The shortage of talent is even leading to the direct involvement of CEOs and top executives in recruitment efforts. Fiat Chrysler thinks it is foolish to try to compete with Silicon Valley, and it is taking a different approach by teaming up with Waymo.

Only time will tell whether Detroit can emerge to viably compete with Silicon Valley for software and electronics talent. What is clear, however, is that change is afoot in the auto industry. In the near future, cars won't be your father's Oldsmobile.

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