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California Entrepreneur Jason Koch: “Automotive is Sexy Again”

Key Takeaways:

  1. Automotive jobs are “sexy,” providing the opportunity to work on some of the world’s most challenging problems.
  2. Software engineers are one of the most in-demand jobs in Michigan and the United States.
  3. Connected automobiles will transform the way mobile companies do business.

Telogis President and Co-founder Jason KochWith all the innovation taking place in connected vehicle research and development, it is a great time to be part of the automotive industry, says Jason Koch, president and co-founder of Telogis.

“Automotive is the sexiest business in the world to be in now,” Koch said during a keynote address exploring the role of smart software integration and its impact on business and commercial vehicle manufacturing.

“The connected car is the ultimate problem to solve and that gives excitement to a lot of engineers,” he said.

Koch leads one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Partnering with major OEMs, including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., Telogis provides cloud-based connected intelligence software in commercial vehicles across the globe. The software allows mobile companies to receive mission-critical data in real-time to improve safety, efficiency and productivity among their fleets.

“Commercial vehicles today do more than just drive. It’s a reality that they are more productive, safer, greener and transforming businesses and delivering ROI based on connected intelligence,” Koch said.

Through the Telogis platform, Koch said commercial vehicle operators can determine where their fleet is at any time, adjust routes on the fly for efficiency, estimate arrival times and even unlock vehicle doors remotely. This connectivity plays a key role in the new vehicle lifecycle, from concept to creation, for OEMs.

“A lot of mobile companies in the marketplace view themselves as a technology company that happens to plow snow, deliver groceries or perform field services. When they are looking at vehicles they are purchasing for commercial purposes, they are really looking for technology that is coming on board with that vehicle that can make their operations more efficient,” Koch said.

The development of this connected vehicle software is where Koch sees the most potential for Michigan as it competes with areas like Silicon Valley for talent retention and job creation.

“Things are really going to change dramatically in the next 10 years regarding how you get around and how companies do business, and Michigan is well-positioned to lead,” he added.

Koch said connecting vehicles is only one component of the transformation taking place among mobility companies. He is also seeing an increase demand for new software that allows companies to integrate the data they receive in various apps, empowering workers and creating a connected ecosystem where suppliers, partners and vendors align to a company’s mission.

The session was sponsored by KPMG LLP. Koch was introduced by KPMG Partner Gary Silberg, who underscored the importance of connected and autonomous vehicle research and development in Michigan with a video featuring KPMG’s vision for driverless car technology.