Why Delphi planted a new innovation lab in Silicon Valley

absmeierOne of the major challenges of setting up an innovation-focused outpost in Silicon Valley — or anywhere else, for that matter — is creating connectivity. That means connecting both to the local ecosystem, and also back to the mothership.

We got some insight into that challenge recently from John Absmeier. Absmeier is a former Marine, California native, and long-time Delphi Automotive executive who now oversees the Delphi Labs @ Silicon Valley. The labs began taking shape in 2012, but moved into a higher-profile, garage-like space just last fall. Delphi is a $16 billion supplier of automobile components, with about 160,000 employees and a head office in Michigan.

Delphi Labs is focused on developing (and partnering with startups that are developing) new technologies in automated driving, cloud-based services, wireless connectivity, mobile devices, in-car “infotainment” systems, and wearables. The group there also keeps an eye out for promising opportunities that might be of interest to Delphi Venture Capital, the company’s $100 million venture capital fund.

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