Hi, and welcome to Semafor Tech, a twice-weekly newsletter from Louise Matsakis and me that gives an inside look at the struggle for the future of the tech industry. If you haven’t wrangled with technology in your car, then you don’t own a car. It seems like for the past 25 years, auto technology has been in this awkward place where everything runs on software but all the great stuff we associate with the software revolution isn’t available. (I say this as someone who ripped the old stereo out of my car and installed one with Apple CarPlay).
I wondered whether all these new AI algorithms that power ChatGPT and other new products would find their way into cars. It turns out GM, which has a two-year partnership with Microsoft Azure, is building exactly that.
Sticking with the car theme, I also text messaged Austin Russell, CEO of Luminar, who just inked a new deal to supply autonomous tech to Mercedes. Elon Musk (sorta car-themed, too) wants to build a tech utopia just outside Austin, Texas to house his tunnel-digging enterprise. (Austin is already a tech utopia. Duh!).
Louise is still out and next week, she’ll be reporting from Taiwan. Pass along any tips or story ideas to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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