Get into the Future: the automotive innovations you can be a part of
The automotive industry is changing, fast. The adjustment from driver to passenger is pushing car manufacturers to alter their focus from pure mechanics to user experience – emphasizing the comfort of the passenger. A revolution in the automotive sector is just around the corner.
That’s why nearly 100 UX experts, designers, software developers, engineers and programmers met with us in Berlin to brainstorm the future of the automotive industry. Berlin is quickly becoming one of Europe’s leading hubs for automotive software development, which is why we talked to technologists interested in the incredible concepts that are defining the ‘mobility revolution’ – the changes that will define the future of transportation.
Who are Luxoft?
Before I delve deeper, let’s start with who Luxoft is. Luxoft is a leading independent IT service provider – a critical partner to the global 2000 as they make their transformations into digital enterprises. In the automotive sector, we provide software-based solutions to leading OEMs and suppliers across user experience (UX) design, human-machine interface (HMI), advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), autonomous driving, connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT), telematics and navigation.
Working with our industry partners, both OEMs and technology suppliers, like Intel, we strive to transform these ideas from concept to reality. And one of the main reasons we’re able to work on these projects is by hiring and retaining the best in the business.
The changes driving cars of the future
At our most recent meet-up, we wanted to show people exactly what type of innovations are being implemented and how QT/C++ developers, automation engineers, system architects and the like can get in on the act.
To do this, we first showed just how many of these visions have already been realised. For example, did you know that Norway is close to becoming a fully electrified society with electric cars accounting for over half of the vehicles on the road?
Human-Machine Interface (HMI) trends are also now driving car design to new heights. From virtual touchscreens to 3-D imaging, cars have come a long way from their past models. Some notable HMI trends include:
• Multimodality: BMW has created the virtual touchscreen, the HoloActive Touch, which includes gesture and speech control in addition to direct touchscreen control.
• 3-D Display: Conti created a display on a 3-D surface, incorporating different layers the user can interact with either via eye tracking or by directly making a selection on the steering wheel.
• Augmented Reality: We're just now beginning to see the use of augmented reality in the automotive industry. While most of what's going on is still largely behind the scenes, it won't be long before consumers experience the changes first-hand.
Getting in on the act
Here at Luxoft, we’re building software houses to transform European centres like Berlin into automotive technology hubs. We want to create innovative spaces that embrace the latest trends in technology and apply it to carmakers and tier one suppliers.
In these hubs, we work with OEMs and suppliers using Agile and Scrum methodologies to consistently influence the direction of each project. We hold daily stand-up meetings to define what we want to achieve and set up sprint cycles with the customer to agree on what’s achievable over a short, fixed term.
This often means working closely with product managers at leading carmakers, with the Luxoft scrum team defining what we can integrate into and within what timeframe – for example, a navigation or entertainment system in the next three weeks.
In Berlin specifically, our new research and development centre is still looking for people to drive this change. C++ Developers, System Architects, Project Managers and UI/UX Designers can join the Berlin office now. It’s a unique opportunity to work with innovative projects in the automotive industry, specifically combining the latest technologies and Agile methodology.
The car industry has awakened to the fact that cars of the future will be based more on the experience inside the car, rather than the mechanics that make it work. That’s why we’re organising meet-ups like this a few times a year – starting near our Sweden, Russia and Germany locations in 2018. Stay tuned for more! And if you don’t want to miss the next one, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
Vice President UX Design
Olaf Preissner is an initiator of the UX/UI Design practice in Luxoft. He’s responsible for all automotive user experience design projects at Luxoft across the different locations including our Shanghai Design Studio. His focus is to develop state of the art solutions for advanced infotainment systems and mobility services.