The importance of the driver being able to operate the vehicle and its array of add-on technologies has always been fundamental. Even before the automotive industry’s incorporation of digital and software features, the vehicle has forever had dials and knobs that OEMs have strived to make as simple to operate as possible.
As soon as engineers were able to successfully integrate microchips on board the vehicle, however, that job became increasingly difficult – to the extent that companies such as Rightware can base their entire business on offering such services.
Rightware’s technical director Jussi Lehtinen says: “We provide user-interface solutions – the complete toolkit from the prototype to production.”
Formed in 2009, the software development firm works with a wide variety of consumer electronics companies and increasingly with OEMs in the automotive sector as well.
Looking at the automotive industry specifically, Lehtinen is noticing a growing challenge for Rightware to overcome. “The industry is going through a big change because of all the digital instrument clusters that are coming, and it means OEMs need to change their way of working,” he says.
“They need to be able to pick up new technology and try to somehow seamlessly put it into production lines. You cannot just put a load of new software in and start working with that, so you need to find some middle ground and do the integration in steps.”
Headquartered in Helsinki, the firm also has offices in Munich, Detroit, Silicon Valley, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai, but Lehtinen himself mostly works remotely from home – 150km from the Finnish capital.
Driving to the office in his Peugeot 307 tends to happen once a week but it is not something he particularly looks forward to. “To be honest, whenever I go to the office, I can describe my day in this way: I put my laptop on a table and open it, then I go and grab a coffee and come back nine hours later, close my laptop and go home, having been in meetings that I didn’t know about.
“When I am working at home, I am much more productive and I’m used to it so would not change that.”
|tags:||Jan-Feb 2016 Rightware Connectivity|