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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2019

The Frontrunners of the Futuristic Connected Car Technology: CloudCar

thesiliconreview-philipp-popov-ceo-cloudcar-19Technology is evolving faster than ever, especially in the automotive industry. There is a high degree of innovation and disruptive technologies in the auto sector. Today, drivers want to be connected with their car. Through technology, they want to interact with their vehicle by talking to it, have it predict their needs, be more productive, and much more.

Connected car technology is rapidly advancing and CloudCar is working with leading automakers to create convenient, productive, and entertaining driving experiences - all while maintaining the OEM’s brand identity. CloudCar focuses on “what’s next” and considers how the experience on the road will evolve in the future for both automotive OEMs and their customers.

The Technological Breakthrough

CloudCar is redefining the in-vehicle’s digital experience. Its white-label platform for the automotive industry provides global access to cloud-based infotainment services, all through a single personalized, voice-first interface.

The Silicon Valley-based company was founded in 2011 by two engineers. With technology driving change, new marketing opportunities evolved within the global automotive industry. CloudCar’s first product justDrive, a voice activated connected car application, launched in 2015.

In 2017, CloudCar achieved their next win releasing the product development of the Online Media Application which is currently in Jaguar Land Rover vehicles. Today, CloudCar continues to work with Jaguar Land Rover and other trusted global OEMs and content providers.

CloudCar has expanded into new global territories. With China becoming the second largest market in the automobile sector, CloudCar is strategically focusing on that region and has opened an engineering office in China to better serve the local market. The company further grew operations in France, Germany, and the UK over the past year.

In Conversation with Philipp Popov, CEO

What makes your organization an ideal workplace?

Our biggest assets are our dedicated employees worldwide who drive the products and services forward and ultimately strive to exceed our customer expectations. We foster open communication at CloudCar and know that it benefits the business, develops respect and trust within the teams, and defines our company culture.

We are a very diverse company and strive to value and acknowledge each employee’s unique contribution. We continually find ways to improve our processes and open new channels to encourage feedback, and exchange ideas and thoughts.

How important is it to listen to what employees want to say or do?

It is crucial to foster a culture where employees feel their voices are heard and their efforts are recognized. Listening to our employees is essential to our business. We hold regular open forums such as our all-hands meetings and employee round tables. Our Annual Performance Review Program allows our employees to set a plan for growth, apply new skills as they step up as leaders and reward them. It keeps our team members engaged and motivated to do their best work at CloudCar.

What causes conflicts between employees in an organization, and how do you take precautions against conflicts?

Our diverse workplace is made up of employees of different races, cultures, genders, ages and professional backgrounds which can lead to a mixture of passionate opinions and differing ideas. While discussions typically spark debate, we embrace the various viewpoints in the organization. We recognize how it allows us to grow collaboratively together as one team enhancing creativity and innovation.

Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We predict the growth of the connected car market and services will increase exponentially over the next couple of years. It is not a matter of debate, but a fact that vehicles are getting more and more connected, with a broad range of built-in services. The question is “Will OEMs manage to stay focused and not give away their touch points and relationships with end-users to the tech giants?”

As we continue to build a comprehensive service integration platform that allows for analytics, personalization and monetization, we also see ourselves playing a big role in the move towards electrification and digitization.

Meet the Leader

Philipp Popov, CEO: Philipp is a seasoned automotive industry expert. He was the founder and CEO of S1NN GmbH (acquired by Harman International). He has always been instrumental with in-car audio and connectivity, delivering highly sophisticated infotainment systems to automotive customers like Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Tesla. Prior to joining CloudCar, Philipp also held executive level positions in TradeBeam, Harman/Becker, and Bose.

Philipp holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the Technical University of Berlin.

"We deliver a contextualized, personalized voice-first infotainment solution giving OEMs full control of the in-vehicle digital experience.” - Philipp Popov