MotorTrend Announces Winners for the Second Annual Software-Defined Vehicle Innovation Awards

240111 MotorTrend Announces Winners for the Second Annual Software-Defined Vehicle Innovation Awards [678]

Accolades Given to Individual Leaders from Automakers Including Hyundai, Ford, and Stellantis

LAS VEGAS, NV — January 11, 2024 MotorTrend Group, a Warner Bros. Discovery company, today announced the winners of the second annual Software-Defined Vehicle Innovator (SDVI) awards, which were given out a private event in conjunction with CES 2024, and presented in partnership with BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB), whose BlackBerry® QNX® technology is embedded in more than 235 million vehicles worldwide.

The program was created in honor of the next phase of automobile technology, with a goal of elevating and shining a spotlight on those who are leading the automotive industry’s tectonic transformation from hardware to software. MotorTrend created the awards as the automotive industry redefines how cars are designed, built, driven, and experienced.

Winners were awarded in three categories, as chosen by MotorTrend’s panel of jurors, from a nominations pool of 51 industry leaders. The original finalists announced in December, included innovators from 21 automakers and suppliers.

“We are honored to unveil the distinguished winners of the second annual Software-Defined Vehicle Innovator awards,” said Ed Loh, head of editorial at MotorTrend Group. “This trailblazing group exemplifies the transformative impact of the software-defined vehicle movement. Their groundbreaking efforts redefine automotive design, driving, and the overall experience. We celebrate these exceptional Pioneers, Leaders, and Experts for propelling us into the future of software-defined vehicles.”

Pioneer Award Winners

These outstanding individuals have demonstrably broken new ground within the SDV space through research, development, and application of new automotive software.

  • Jan Becker, CEO and Co-Founder, Apex.AI, for his pioneering work in the fields of driver assistance systems and autonomous driving, particularly for his contributions to safety critical Robot Operating Systems and for inspiring and educating the next generation of SDV super stars.
  • Yu Fang, CTO and Co-Founder, Sonatus, for leading the way in developing fast, flexible software solutions for car and cloud that take advantage of existing electrical engineering architecture while delivering SDV capability.
  • Jordan Green, former Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, AEye, for his pioneering work with respect to flexible and real-time configurable lidar systems, which is accelerating the SDV transition at the hardware and software level in a key sensor category.
  • Philipp Skogstad, President and CEO, Mercedes-Benz R&D North America, for his contributions to the auto industry with two production car firsts: Level 3 autonomous driving testing certification and a generative AI-powered assistant in vehicle.

Leader Award Winners

These outstanding individuals are in a senior management position and lead a team that is transforming the automotive industry through the broad adoption and application of software solutions.

  • Maria Anhalt, CEO, Elektrobit, for leading her team in close collaborations with established and startup automakers alike to deliver software that has been implemented in more than 5 billion devices and more than 600 million vehicles.
  • Abdul Bazzi, VP, Software & Services Platform, SDV Operating System, General Motors, for leading GM through its launch of Ultifi, an end-to-end software platform that gives customers a more connected experience via over-the-air services, apps, and features.
  • Michael Bell, SVP of Digital and Platform Software Engineering, Lucid Motors, for his holistic approach to vehicle technology and user-centric software that has made Lucid a spearhead of innovation in the automotive space.
  • Jeffrey Chou, CEO and Co-Founder, Sonatus, for leading the development of the highly connected and award-winning Sonatus Vehicle Platform from idea to implementation in millions of Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis cars.
  • HaeYoung Kwon, VP and Head of Infotainment, Hyundai Motor Company, for enabling a connected services platform with more than 5 million subscribers and developing platform-agnostic service architectures.
  • Sammy Omari, Latitude AI CEO and Executive Director of ADAS Technologies at Ford Motor Company, for rolling out the hands-free (but eyes-on) highway driving assistance tech BlueCruise.
  • Mayank Sikaria, President, Co-Founder, and Head of Technology, Sibros for creating connected vehicle technology that reached production in less than two years and is now used by more than 16 automakers.
  • Christian Sobottka, President of Automotive, Harman for deliver Harman’s suite of “Ready” products that include driver focus and attention monitoring and in-vehicle hardware and software upgrades.
  • Vsevolod Vovkushevsky, Software Products and Services Product Line Director, Valeo, for championing the development of system architectures for highly automated maneuvering systems, including automated parking, active safety, and automated driving.

Expert Award Winners

These outstanding individuals are subject matter experts within a specific SDV discipline (e.g. advanced driver assistance systems, digital cockpit, over-the-air updates, autonomous, recruiting etc.).

  • Michael Brewer, Chief Engineer for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems—Help Me Tow, Hitch, and Park Features, Ford Motor Company for delivering driver-assistance systems that make off-roading and towing more accessible.
  • Stefano Marzani, Worldwide Technology Leader, Software-Defined Vehicle, Amazon Web Services for facilitating the adoption of cloud-native engineering workbenches that help automakers manage data and streamline simulations, validation, and testing activities.
  • Dr. Moritz Neukirchner, Senior Director Strategic Product Management Software-Defined Vehicle, Elektrobit for his work reshaping development practices to enable cloud-based workflows and intercompany collaboration across the automotive supply chain.
  • Berta Rodriguez-Hervas, Vice President of Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms, and Machine Learning Ops, Stellantis, for developing AI-based algorithms that enable autonomous driving systems to perceive, interpret, and handle complex urban scenarios.
  • Ramin Shirani, Co-Founder and CEO, Ethernovia for inventing the auto-negotiation technology currently used in billions of Ethernet products and unifying in-vehicle networks into an end-to-end Ethernet system.
  • Dr. Jonghyuk Song, Director of Vehicle Threat Research Lab, AutoCrypt, for championing automotive cybersecurity with his CAN, USB, and ethernet blackbox fuzzing techniques.

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About MotorTrend Group

MotorTrend Group, a Warner Bros. Discovery company, is the world’s largest automotive media group dedicated to introducing, inspiring, and intensifying people’s passions for the motoring world. Comprising more than 50 iconic brands, including MOTORTREND, HOT ROD, ROADKILL, TOP GEAR AMERICA, and more, MotorTrend Group is the ultimate source of entertainment and information for both auto enthusiasts and car shoppers, with a monthly audience over 30 million including 2 million premium members in addition to over 70 million social followers. Featuring world-class automotive entertainment across the No. 1 television network for automotive fans, digital streaming channels, iconic events, the largest automotive social network, over seven decades of print and digital editorial content, and cutting-edge resources for new car shoppers, MotorTrend embodies every corner of car culture. From electric vehicles to timeless classic customs, MotorTrend Group brings the latest motoring trends to fans of all generations.

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