US: JLR to promote infotainment innovation incubator
JLR's new InControl Touch Pro in Route Preview with Street View mode
After introducing InControl Touch Pro, its next generation infotainment and connected car technology in the redesigned XF, Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover has announced a new initiative to support the development of future infotainment technologies in the US.
The automaker will now launch an 'Innovation Incubator' project in Portland, Oregon, to encourage, promote and support new software based automotive technologies that are being developed by US technology start ups.
The focus will be on finding innovators who have great potential ideas, but need technical help to make these concepts a reality. The incubator project begins in May 2015 with an outreach program to US universities. It will select around 120 start up companies for the automaker to work with over the next decade.
Nick Rogers, JLR engineering director, said: "As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we want to develop even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses. We want to cast a wide net and invite technology start-ups to pitch us their ideas. If we think they’ve got something innovative that could enhance the experience customers have in our vehicles, we want to support them and help develop their ideas."
This support includes a space in a new incubator centre that will be developed in Portland specifically to accommodate these technology start ups. JLR will also recruit 50 experienced engineers who will work directly with these start ups in Portland to help them make their ideas a reality.
"This incubator approach will enable us to seek out and encourage young companies with brilliant ideas for new technologies who may lack the technical skills or knowledge of the automotive industry to move their ideas forward. As well as mentoring them and offering them technical support, they can base themselves with us and develop and test their ideas in our brand new, collaborative and innovative environment in Portland," said Matt Jones, head of future infotainment at the automaker, who will manage the new facility.
JLR has already run a pilot programme and identified a project with a US technology start up called Vonsor.
The system will allow drivers to take live footage from cameras inside and outside the vehicle, edit them together on the vehicle’s touchscreens and then share the footage on social media.