In recent years, Chicago has become a hot spot for technology companies. Established companies like Google and Motorola Mobility are expanding their footprint in Chicago, and growing companies work with incubators and accelerators such as 1871 in the Merchandise Mart and Catapult Chicago to innovate and connect. Now, Chicago has an expanding community of automotive technology and research companies.
In the fall of 2014, BMW expanded its operations into Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, an up and coming technology center, through the purchase of a software development group. HERE, a Nokia company focused on navigation, mapping, and location, likewise houses software development operations in the West Loop. BMW and HERE announced a collaboration at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, and Jaguar Land Rover just unveiled its connected car control panel, created in partnership with HERE, at the New York Auto Show. BMW and HERE are part of an automotive technology community in the Chicago area that includes Harman and Continental Automotive, among others. Chicago is also home to a number of universities that feed into the technology community.
The growth in connected-car technology will serve to further expand the automotive technology and research community, in Chicago and elsewhere.