HARMAN has a rich history of bringing legendary connected technologies to life. Our team has an unwavering commitment to create the best-performing products and innovations that deliver the most connected, personalized experiences for a broad range of automakers, enterprises and consumers. One of our incredible leaders is HARMAN’s Senior Vice President of Connected Car, Digital Cockpit – Lynn Longo, who is spearheading the development of market-leading digital cockpit technologies that can enhance connected experiences for driver and passengers.

A well-known senior executive with an extensive background at GM, Lynn understands the cutting-edge solutions HARMAN brings to the vehicle by combining accurate sound and automotive technology with breakthrough software. She is bringing ideas that are poised to continue pushing HARMAN above the rest, connecting consumers to a whole new level of vehicular experiences. Lynn just finished her 6-month anniversary at HARMAN, so we decided to sit down with her, talk about why she chose HARMAN for the next step in her career and hear her predictions for the future of the automotive industry.

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What attracted you to HARMAN?

Lynn: First of all, as a former OEM customer, I knew firsthand how special HARMAN was. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be a part of one of the coolest companies in the world? Our consumer audio is legendary, and our automotive prestige and ability to innovate is incredible.

Also, when you look at the trajectory of the industry, we’re moving from the focus of driving cars to being passengers in them and with that shift, comes a complete realignment of the vehicle value proposition. As consumers, we’re no longer interested in one-off vehicle features, but rather, who can deliver the most seamless and connected mobility experience. That’s the name of the game, and really, it’s HARMAN’s sweet spot in the market – The ability to master the intersection between automotive and consumer technologies.

With that in mind, at HARMAN, I saw a tremendous opportunity to utilize my experiences leading product development and deployment at GM to address this consumer-centric mobility revolution. I also think a significant factor for me was that HARMAN has a truly global view of this industry. With offices around the world, we’re able to formulate a regional go-to-market strategy based on what consumers’ value in these various geographies. Take China, for instance: everything there is dependent on voice, and when we design a cockpit for that market we’ll need to ensure that voice capabilities are an integral part of the automotive cockpit.

What are some of your aspirations for digital cockpit technologies in 2020?

Lynn: Having seen the evolution of cockpit offerings over the years, I have an idea about the future of the digital cockpit, as well as how it will help move HARMAN forward as a leader even more than it already is. I think we’re experiencing a paradigm shift in the vehicle that’s only going to become more evident with time. We’re seeing this move in digital cockpit technology from being embedded in the car to becoming a hybrid model. It makes me think of how Android Auto and Apple CarPlay became so prevalent in the market: because it was already familiar to the consumer and offered personalized content.

I see a move like that eventually leading to cloud and edge-based solutions that will mimic how computers developed over the last 10 years. They started by having all programs be built on CDs and then moved to being internet-based, and I think we’re not too far behind that in automotive with the prevalence of 5G connectivity and OTA. When all is said and done, what we need to consider is that we’re not just providing a solution to an OEM, but also providing connectivity and solutions to the OEM’s end-consumers.

Why is diversity in STEM important to you and how have you supported other women in tech over the course of your career?

Lynn: The more an organization can do to support women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields, the better that organization will be because women have a unique experience to bring to the table. Over the course of my career, I’ve been a champion for women from my time in the test lab, all the way to the boardroom. When I lived in China, I was fortunate to participate in a panel with Ladies Who Tech Shanghai, where we discussed topics such as the importance of confidence, self-promotion and building resiliency. I also actively participate with the Michigan Council of Women in Technology as well as Inforum, which counts HARMAN among its new sponsors. I co-chair the TechnologyNext industry group at Inforum, which focuses on advancing the careers of women in STEM fields. We want to ensure that members can share professional knowledge, while increasing their understanding of important technology themes and offer career guidance when needed. I am proud that HARMAN decided to get involved with Inforum because it shows we are dedicated to improving the business environment for women. Seeing HARMAN show its support for an organization like this gives me hope that we can all work towards creating equality and empowering women in STEM fields.

As a company at the forefront of unlocking cutting-edge technologies that enable tomorrow’s connectivity and mobility landscape, we are pleased to welcome an experienced automotive leader like Lynn Longo to the HARMAN family. She will help pioneer a new path for HARMAN’s automotive business, broaden the horizon of our digital cockpit technologies and further uplift the connected car experience for automakers and consumers.