Tech company plans Detroit expansion for connected cars
A Bethesda, Maryland-based mobility company aims to hire up to 750 people in the next two years for the company's downtown Detroit office.
DMI focuses on developing the systems that would allow vehicles to communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure. Think OnStar, but for vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The industry term for vehicles with that technology is a "connected" vehicle, which is a vehicle that has internet access.
Ford Motor Co. has said every new vehicle sold in 2019 will be connected. General Motors Co. has been working on connected systems for years. And that technology is essential for the self-driving vehicles both automakers plan to launch on public roads for public use within the next three years.
"As that market grows, so does demand for better frameworks for connected vehicles," DMI founder and CEO Jay Sunny Bajaj, a Royal Oak native, told The Detroit News. "We're going to be hiring quite a number of people in the next few years as demand in that market grows."
DMI has offices around the globe. But Bajaj said his Metro Detroit roots have helped him understand the importance of developing a footprint in the city. DMI has found engineers locally to fill its already 250-person team in Detroit.
"We find a lot of people because of the deep history Detroit has with the auto industry," he said. "We're also finding there's a lot of folks from around the U.S. who are more than willing to relocate to Detroit."
Bajaj and DMI stepped into the Detroit market and connected car business just over a year ago when DMI acquired Detroit-based Lochbridge, which had been a technology unit of Compuware. Scooping up the company boosted DMI's footprint in connected vehicles, which Bajaj expects to grow as automakers race into the next decade with autonomous vehicles in their lineups.
Connecticut-based technology research company Garnet expects 250 million connected vehicles will be on the road by 2020.
"It's a race," Bajaj said. "2025 is the line in the sand."