While OEMs and suppliers continue to jockey for the best position to benefit from future ADAS and mobility opportunities, Jaguar Land Rover is experimenting with a different approach which is rapidly evolving.
Its Tech Incubator program, set up in Portland, Oregon is to add a new 20,000 sq. ft. technical centre by the end of 2016, focused on the development and trialling of new technologies and in-car experiences for consumers. Some 30 additional engineers will be recruited to support the expanded facilities.
In announcing the new vehicle centre for the Portland facility JLR also announced the next three start-ups it has chosen to work with:
- AVE – an in-vehicle infotainment start-up
- Validated – an app – already live in Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles – that lets restaurants and other customer-centric businesses pay and book customers’ taxis or their parking as a way of engendering customer loyalty
- Lyfeboat – software that provides easy-to-use logistics and online booking tools for auto service centres
The three join current Tech Incubator companies Workfrom, SICdrone and Carfit.
Tech Incubator was set up in early 2016 to promote and support early stage software start-ups in the US. Software is rapidly shaping up to be the central automotive battleground and JLR is openly encouraging start-ups in the areas of augmented reality, cloud/connected car, data visualisation and HMI – UX, Nav (human machine interface – user experience) to apply to join its business unit.
Tech Incubator is situated near to JLR’s Open Software Technology Center (OSTC) which opened in July 2014. The two facilities currently employ 80 people.