2022 ALL STAR | SOFTWARE INNOVATION
When Maria Anhalt was named CEO and managing director of automotive software provider Elektrobit in January 2021, the auto industry was going through seismic shifts. Reverberations from the COVID-19 pandemic were still being felt, and software was redefining vehicle design and architecture even more quickly than most imagined.
As automakers race to produce electric and connected vehicles at an unprecedented scale, they need to build an underlying software platform, or automotive operating system. This requires automakers to overhaul the electric architecture of vehicles and their software-hardware underpinnings.
Having served as an automotive software provider for about 35 years, Elektrobit supports automakers’ efforts to build software-defined vehicles. As someone who has worked in software for more than 25 years, the last five in automotive, Anhalt is uniquely qualified to lead that effort.
“We are the go-to partner who can help our customers bring their automotive OS vision to life,” said Anhalt, 52.
“My background in enterprise software expertise enables me to lead Elektrobit in new directions,” she said. “It’s my goal to provide software that transforms mobility and enables a more interactive and intuitive driving experience.”
Elektrobit is a wholly owned but fully independent subsidiary of Continental. Its customers include BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen Group and Volvo, among others. Its software is embedded in more than 600 million vehicles and powers features such as connectivity, security, driver assistance and user experience.
Elektrobit provides turnkey and jointly developed products to its automotive partners and other tech companies, including Amazon and Sony. For example, Sony selected Elektrobit to be its software and integration partner in the initial stages of developing Sony’s Vision-S concept. Elektrobit and Sony worked together to develop the car’s infotainment hardware and software, instrument cluster and voice-assistant integrations.
The automotive industry is rapidly changing. The challenge for automakers will be keeping pace with this transformation and developing the software needed for it.
As the leader of Elektrobit, Anhalt is ready to take on the task. “We have a strong portfolio of products that we will continue to invest in to offer complete solutions and fill known gaps,” she said.