Innovative transportation company Uber stirred up some controversy by poaching a number of Carnegie Mellon’s researchers and scientists earlier this year. But according to a recent article on CityLab.com, Uber’s arrival in Pittsburgh is good for everyone.
“The loss of key people may be temporary hardship for CMU,” explains Richard Florida, the co-founder of CityLab (a division of The Atlantic). “But ultimately, the fact that Uber is so interested in hiring its talent will allow the university to attract more and perhaps even better talent in the future.”
Florida goes on to say that “Uber’s move to Pittsburgh and its hiring of CMU talent is good for the city.” He suggests that Uber’s arrival signals a shift for the city—one that could turn Pittsburgh into a power player in the driverless car industry and, eventually, a major tech hub on par with Seattle or Silicon Valley.
In order to become such a hub, Florida says, a city needs both university muscle and local industry that can capitalize on it. Though Pittsburgh has long boasted world-class universities (as well as high marks on livability), it lacked the commercial chops to back them up. Uber could change all that.
Though Uber and CMU are working towards the same goal—developing autonomous vehicles—there will undoubtedly still be growing pains as they compete for talent and resources. But as Florida writes, “Uber’s location in Pittsburgh means that the hard work the region and the university have put in for several decades is indeed paying off.”
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