VentureBeat: How Detroit’s automotive roots made it a hub for transportation startups

VentureBeat: How Detroit’s automotive roots made it a hub for transportation startups

Six years and 59 days ago, I moved from San Francisco to Detroit. My friends thought I was crazy moving from one of the fastest-growing American cities to one of the most downtrodden. But I saw an opportunity: the potential for Detroit, an iconic American city, to reinvent itself and become a leader once again. At the time I didn’t know what it was. But today it’s clear.

 

In Detroit, we’re seeing a shift from manufacturing vehicles to creating software and services. This is the future of automotive mobility: freely moving people and goods from point A to point B. It’s the automotive industry adding a layer of software and services to enable new ways to get around, like a car that drives itself or transportation on demand.

 

The Motor City is becoming the Mobility City.

 

How the momentum started

 

Detroit and the automotive industry had two massive crises that forced a hard reset for both. First, Detroit became the largest U.S. municipality to ever file for bankruptcy in July 2013. Then, the automotive industry experienced a global industry crisis from 2008 to 2010.

 

Both the city and the automotive industry had to go through a hard reset that was like ripping off a Band-Aid. It was painful, but then the healing process could begin.

 

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