As the importance of automotive software grows, the industry will need to do more to attract top talent in the field amid stiff competition from Silicon Valley — and quickly, experts and industry executives said.
"It's not like there aren't a lot of great people working in this space, but compared to the density you might find in Silicon Valley or other more tech-focused industries, it's been a challenge for the auto industry," said Jeff Peters, a partner in mobility early-stage venture capital at Ibex Investors in Denver.
Automotive spending on software is increasing at a rapid clip. S&P Global Mobility expects annual spending on in-vehicle infotainment software development alone to grow 44 percent to $356.1 million by 2027 from $247.1 million in 2022. McKinsey & Co., meanwhile, projects the global market for automotive software to rise 163 percent to $50 billion annually in 2030 from $19 billion in 2019.
While the auto industry is an attractive landing spot in its own right, it has often failed to win over talented software engineers drawn to Silicon Valley's high salaries and fast-moving cultures, said Tawhid Khan, director of software practice for S&P Global Mobility.