GM’s Director of Advanced Technology Discusses Innovations in the Pipeline

Sensors and connected vehicles are leading the way toward autonomous driving, says Frankie James, General Motors managing director of advanced technology during a podcast series hosted by FutureThink. “My background is in human machine interaction but I’ve talked with the team that does window glass and know more things about window glass than I ever thought I would before I got this job,” she adds.

She is based in Silicon Valley, Calif., and says there are a lot of trends she is keeping an eye on.

“There is so much going on out here in Silicon Valley and there is so much that is potentially automotive related that we’ve got plenty of things to look at and plenty of interesting things to learn about,” James explains.

She didn’t want to delve into specifics, but did touch on some topics the company’s management is eyeballing.

“There are different areas that are potentially going to be hot. Infotainment is very big and there are still a lot of things we are exploring in terms of how the architecture should be designed. What kinds of features should be available? What are the kinds of things people want to do?” James says.

“[B]ut there are also a lot of things going on related to sensors and connected vehicles that is sort of leading the way towards autonomous driving and some things that people are aware are coming down the pipe,” she adds.

So how does a company as big as GM focus on innovation? Get everyone on board, she responds.

“You’ve got to have all parts of your organization fired up and ready to make change happen,” James says.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

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