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We are catering to all these audiences with a single platform that includes
back-end support for the host. But where it really becomes powerful and
provides real benefits to people and society, is with the data. The more organizations
who adopt the platform and the more people who use it, the more
data is created, and we can use this data to optimize mobility solutions and
provide mobility where it is needed most, in the most efficient and useful
way. Not only is this good news for the end user, but it helps us to improve
sustainability, reduce emissions and save money for the service provider.
When you see how people are using mobility, whether that’s in a town or
a car plant, at different times of the day, week or in different weather, you
can predict and optimize mobility flows, and that is incredibly powerful.
But to do this you need the whole ecosystem – the vehicles, the connectivity,
the users, the industry partners – and that’s when you can improve
mobility for everyone.
focus: With the acceleration of digitalization, do you think industry focus
will shift away from hardware to software, and instead of buying a new
car, users will just upgrade their operating system?
Buenosvinos: Hardware development isn’t going to slow down, but software
iteration will certainly accelerate. The most successful organizations
will be those who combine hardware with software services, enabling new
features to be added to the same vehicle. With this in mind, we might see
completely different user experiences on the same device – perhaps with
an upgrade, or perhaps based on the use of the vehicle. The experience and
performance might change depending whether it’s a workday or the weekend,
for example, when the needs of the user are different.
And this isn’t just going to be about the vehicle, but the whole ecosystem –
the vehicle, our phones, online, offline. This is where we are going to
start seeing innovation and differentiation between manufacturers and
focus: The future of mobility looks very different to its past, and will require
the implementation of big changes across the industry. How important
is a flexible, open approach key to future automotive success?
It’s fundamental. For us agility is a competitive advantage – it’s more of an
attitude than a methodology – and today if you’re not agile you’re out of
the game. Both the hardware and the software must be flexible, and our
capability in this area was really reflected when SEAT repurposed some
of its production capacity to produce ventilators and masks to help with
the Covid crisis. Teams and departments across SEAT – even external suppliers
– all got involved. At SEAT:CODE we helped with the logistics.
Everyone came together, to adapt and to solve a problem. It was very emotional
seeing it all happen and being part of it, and it also underlines a big
cultural change that we are experiencing.
Sometimes you can spend so long working on a problem that you can no
longer see the forest for the trees because your perspective has become
so narrow – and that is certainly a challenge for many traditional OEMs.
That’s what we’re trying to change with SEAT:CODE. We have grown
from twenty people two years ago to around 150 people today – fresh
people with fresh mindsets coming from different sectors and domains.
They can see the things we are no longer able to see, ask the questions the
rest of us are missing, and help us see the whole forest.
TO SLOW DOWN,
This approach has helped us move
from a perspective of “what product
are we building” to “what problem
are we solving” and has given
us a “why”. At SEAT we are very
good at building and selling cars,
because we have been doing this for
seventy years, but now that we’re
understanding this from a problemsolving
perspective it has created a
lot of “ah ha” moments and started
a lot of discussions about how we
can serve our customers, the industry
and society, better.
focus: This attention to problem
solving, serving society and creating
a human-centric approach
is very people oriented. How important
is that to you?
Buenosvinos: SEAT:CODE is made
up of people. The work we do is
a team sport. We are a bunch of
people with curious minds, working
closely with experts from other
business areas to find the best solutions
possible in the time we have,
with the budget we have. The only
way to get the best results we are
trying to achieve is to have people
who are motivated, from diverse
backgrounds, who are physically
and mentally healthy, and committed
to the work they are doing. At
SEAT:CODE we think it’s vital to
support this, especially considering
what the world is facing today. We
want working here to feel like being
in a family, where people can do
their best work and create new ways
of working, new opportunities, and
new business models.