Q&A: Dr David Voss

Opel-Vauxhall's manager of connected customers discusses how the OEM will increase connectivity and the importance of partnerships with consumer electronics firms

How do you meet the changing consumer demands for connectivity in the vehicle?

The first thing is that with OnStar, our connectivity system, we are, let’s say, having a rollout of the connected car. I think the foundation, really, is that we now are able to offer connected vehicles that are part of the Internet of Things, that’s the first thing. Building up on that connectivity, what we are enabling is basically you can use some of OnStar’s core services to further implement their consumers’ digital life into their in-vehicle experience, for example through our infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto.

What feedback are you receiving from customer clinics in terms of what the demand is and what services people would like?

I guess what we see is really that customers expect a seamless connection from the built-in device in the vehicle. Of course, to make sure that this is really something we enable in terms of having an easy phone pairing, supporting Apple CarPlay. Broadening connectivity access is something that customers are appreciative of, and that’s another thing that we focus on.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are becoming more important to consumers, how do you see those technologies developing in the future?

I guess there are two aspects. There are definitely our customers who appreciate having their own look and feel from what they know from the smartphone and have that accessible in the vehicle, but of course we as a manufacturer are focused on providing our own integrated app solution there as well. We see that some people, some groups of customers, really appreciate having their own interface adapted in the vehicle, and others definitely feel they don’t want to just use that, they’re okay having a Bluetooth connectivity and then use our infotainment system.

How will connectivity develop and how will it be scaled to different vehicle segments?

That’s an interesting one. What we want is to enable all our passenger cars to be connected, of course we’re scaling in terms of what kinds of infotainment systems we are providing to the different car lines. But what you can see there as well, is we believe that we want to democratise technology, make it available to all our vehicles. You can see similar infotainment systems with a high level of connectivity supporting OnStar, CarPlay and Android Auto, in our range from the Insignia to the Adam.