Alphabet's CEO of their Self-Driving Car Project, John Krafcik, is slated to be speaking at AutoMobili-D at the North American International Auto Show next January. According to a press release that the NAIAS released today. His keynote will take place on Sunday, January 8th, 2017 at Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit. Krafcik stated in a prepared statement that "for the past century, Detroit has been at the center of the automobile. As we look toward the next phase of mobility, it's clear that the Motor City will continue to play a pivotal role bringing together the best of what Detroit and Silicon Valley have to offer." Krafcik is no stranger to the North American International Auto Show, as he's been a part of Ford and Hyundai prior to his current positions at TrueCar and Alphabet. With Hyundai, he was President and CEO of their US business.
Having Krafcik as part of AutoMobili-D this year isn't surprising. After all the Self-Driving Car Project, that's under Alphabet's umbrella, has shown that the metro Detroit area is important to them. Not only working with Fiat Chrysler, but also opening a 53,000-square-foot development center in Novi - just a few miles North of Detroit. This development center is set to serve as a hub for Google to work with partners in the automotive industry. And with Chrysler, Ford and GM all being within miles of that center, it's the perfect spot.
The North American International Auto Show is the first auto show in the calendar year, taking place the second week of January every year (it opens to the public the following week). NAIAS has been running for 29 years now and has continued to grow and grow. With this year, AutoMobili-D being added to the show. AutoMobili-D was announced earlier this year, and it will feature over 100 technology and mobility-focused companies. This includes automakers, tech startups and much more. There will be five key mobility areas for AutoMobili-D, which include Autonomous Driving, Connected Car Technologies, E-Mobility, Mobility Services and Urban Mobility. With autonomous driving being such a huge topic these days - especially with Alphabet, Uber, and Lyft all working on it - AutoMobili-D's Autonomous Driving area is set to be a huge space, and garner a ton of attention.