At HARMAN we’ve enjoyed an exciting Engineers Week, celebrating the talented engineers who are hard at work on the next generation of audio, infotainment solutions and in-vehicle user experiences. To close out the celebration, we sat down with a HARMAN Product Manager, John Garcia, to learn more about his contributions toward developing the future of self-driving vehicles.
As a young boy, John curiously took apart typewriters to discern their inner workings and learned how to put them back together again at his parents’ insistence. Today, John combines his love of technology in the research and development of autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle technology. He is currently focused on designing solutions and finding trusted partners that safely allow passengers to unlock free time in the vehicle once their hands and eyes no longer have to be on the wheel.
John joined HARMAN in 2016 as a Product Manager for CoC Navigation, he is now part of the larger Autonomous Drive, ADAS, and Navigation Strategic Business Unit. Originally hired to find the next disruptive navigation product in a distant future of autonomous vehicles, he now is on the forefront of a talented and historically successful team pivoting towards a new market full of opportunity and risks.
His current focus: Balancing existing commitments to longtime customers while bidding for new contracts against incumbent competitors. With autonomous vehicles seeming both so close and yet so far away, OEMs are evolving from device-centric to user-centric models. They are transforming cars into experience platforms for today’s drivers and tomorrow’s passengers. For the last 18 months, Samsung and HARMAN quietly developed the DRVLINE™ platform. An open, modular, and scalable compute platform designed to accelerate autonomous development for automakers looking to integrate best-in-class technology into “next-gen” vehicles while creating a vibrant ecosystem for the fleets of the future. Officially unveiled at CES 2018, the DRVLINE platform leverages V2X and embedded system technology for Level 3, 4, and 5 vehicle automation. The launch product for DRVLine is a front-facing camera system engineered to aggressively meet or exceed OEM requirements and industry standards while not breaking the bank.
What’s next for John and the Autonomous Drive SBU? John spends his time researching, prototyping, and developing solutions for the automotive trends that he knows will exist in the next 3 to 7 years. He states, “The whole industry is pushing from level 2.5 autonomy to level 3 within the next generation of vehicles – DRVLine could serve as a harbor platform.” John envisions DRVLine as an apex platform that links together all of HARMAN’s connected car and connected service innovations – in a masterclass demonstration of integration to all of our most valuable customers.
John and the Autonomous Drive SBU are working tirelessly to develop an ecosystem to support full autonomy. The platforms he and the Autonomous Drive SBU are behind, such as DRVLINE, allow OEMs and our partners to market the most advanced existing autonomous technology.
Click here to meet more of the talented engineers featured in HARMAN’s Engineers Week series.