TU talks to Larry Haddad, Nissan International SA’s general manager, cross carline product strategy and planning, about customer expectations for the connected car.
What is your role and experience in the telematics market?
Nissan is an OEM and my department is responsible for product strategy and planning. So I am responsible for delighting the customer.
In the world of connectivity and information technology, there are new innovations being introduced at a rapid pace. My team is seeking ways to create attractive new services by merging the vehicle environment into the information ecosystem.
What recent achievements has your department made?
Over the past three years, I have championed the introduction of several iconic technologies to the Nissan and Infiniti ranges.
The most recent accomplishment was the introduction of Nissan Connect powered by CARWINGS, a class-leading in-vehicle infotainment system designed to meet the unique product needs of electric vehicle drivers.
The CARWINGS system has been awarded the Global Mobile Awards 2011 prize for the Best Mobile Innovation for Automotive and Transport. In 2008, I led the Nissan Connect project, an affordable navigation and connectivity device that is the leading in-vehicle navigation product for B and C segment vehicles.
For the demanding Infiniti customer, who typically has a passion for inspired performance, I managed the European requirements for Infiniti Connectiviti, Infiniti Dynamic Safety Shield, and the award-winning Around View Monitor.
With so much competition among automakers, is open innovation a particular challenge for this industry?
To keep up with the pace of the consumer electronics industry, automakers must adopt industry standards because proprietary solutions are expensive to develop and require long development lead times.
You are a key speaker at the upcoming Telematics Munich 2011 conference in November. What issues will you be discussing with the industry at the show?
Since the introduction of the iPhone, the rate of innovation and customer acceptance of smartphone devices has grown rapidly. Then, right on the heels of iOS and Android, came the tablet phenomenon.
I would like to discuss the impact these devices are having on customer expectations for the connected car.
For more from Larry Haddad, join the sector’s other key players at upcoming Telematics Munich 2011 on November 9-10 in Munich.