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Automakers Really MUST Collaborate…

John Day

John Day

Posted Dec 16, 2013

Or else, what? Collaborate or Die – the topic of a panel session at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) sponsored by the GENIVI Alliance.

The session, which is open to all CES attendees, begins at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 9, 2014 in the Las Vegas Convention Center (North Hall N258).

Paul Hansen, founder and publisher of the Hansen Report on Automotive Electronics, will serve as panel moderator. Speakers scheduled to participate include:

  • Matt Jones, senior technical specialist, infotainment, Jaguar Land Rover; VP of the GENIVI Alliance
  • Charles Koch, manager, new business development, Honda
  • Graham Smethurst, general manager, infotainment and communications, BMW
  •  John Ellis, global technologist and head of the Ford Developer Program, Ford Motor Company
  • Phillipe Gicquel, general manager for cockpit, safety, infotainment EE modules, PSA Peugeot Citroën

Joel Hoffmann, automotive strategist at Intel Corporation and marketing director of the GENIVI Alliance, concedes that the session title might be controversial to some, but the GENIVI planners consider it very important:

“One of the more controversial themes in electronics today is the separation of hardware and software and the shared responsibility to put it back together,” Hofmann says. “In the past, Tier One suppliers provided not only the hardware but also the complete software stack.

“Now, more and more, OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) want to be part of the solution, whether to save money, or to have access to a wider selection of suppliers. Today, they have the option of relying on an ecosystem of hardware and software suppliers rather than just relying on a Tier One.”

Where development used to be vertical, it’s now horizontal, according to Hoffmann. “OEMs are collaborating with each other, and so are Tier Ones,” he says. “There is still plenty of room for profit, because profit comes from differentiation, and there is plenty of room for differentiation in a collaborative design environment. Phones and tablets are profitable and they take advantage of technology from hundreds of different sources.”

 “The initial focus of the GENIVI Alliance was on in-vehicle infotainment, but our mandate is much broader than that,” says Hoffmann. “ECUs (electronic control units), for example, have become so complex and so interactive that one manufacturer developing a product for a particular application may have to collaborate with another manufacturer focused on another application because everything has to work together to achieve better safety, efficiency, and performance.”

Are they right? If you’re planning to attend CES, check it out.

The Hansen Report on Automotive Eelctronics, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Paul Hansen, Genivi Alliance, Honda

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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