Lochbridge Vice President on Building the Connected Car in Detroit

By Amanda Lewan on March 19th, 2015 / Comments

Last year when Compuware sold off three of its business units, the professional services arm of the corporation was rebranded to create Lochbridge.

Lochbridge stayed in Downtown Detroit, headquartered near Cobo Hall, to continue to grow their software work in the automotive world. Right now, the company sees room for innovation in the area of the connected car. The company’s latest connected car concept, LAYR Cloud, enables easier automotive app integration letting the user decide what information they want connected to their car.

We had the opportunity to hear from Vice President of Automotive & Emerging Technologies Raj Paul about the future of building the connected car right here in Detroit. Below are highlights from our conversation with Raj Paul.

Lochbridge was previously Compuware professional services. What has changed with the new brand?

We are a separate company now focused completely on services. Auto technology is one of our big focus areas. I am also looking at emerging technologies from our organization. I am always looking at this space. This is a big focus for us moving forward.

Tell us about your work with building the connected car here in Detroit.

Compuware being in business for more than 40 years has experience in the auto space, and we have extensive experience in Detroit. Over the last 5-8 years pretty much every maker is coming up with their own offering in the connected car space. Technology like 4g and 3g is becoming the standard. People’s expectations of a car are changing as well. People want to know the technical capabilities the car has more than the engine and how far it can go.

Technology in a car is becoming a differentiator. The cost to get data to is becoming cheaper and more affordable. It’s become a defalt to carry a smartphone and have an app, using data. From a technology standpoint if you look 6 or 7 years back people only had a CD player in their car. Now, a display is becoming a standard as well.

So we at Lochbridge have been on this journey from the CD days to car radio days and now today.  We took a step back a few years ago and looked at what kind of offerings we could create. This is where LAYR came from.

What features does your LAYR Cloud offering have? How does it work for the driver?

Some makers look at getting content into the car. You see a phone based and a non-phone based approach. So we took a step back and looked at what a normal driver needs.

Most people commute five out of seven days they are driving to work. Their point A and point b are pretty much the same. They care about traffic, delays, accidents, gas, being on time. We thought how cool would it be if the driver gets to decide what content they want. Let the car try to learn more about the driver. Give them information that is interesting and relevant to them. If the car knows you have a 9am meeting and on your normal path there is an accident, why shouldn’t the car let you know you’ll be late and should reschedule?

We build content aggregation in the cloud. Let’s push the processing to the cloud, let the customer choose their content, personalize it, and we will do content aggregation based on the providers pushing it to the radio display.

Where do you see the future of the connected car going? Is there still a lot of room for innovation?

Definitely. Every OEM has their own strategy. Some are looking at what Google and Apple are doing. Some OEMs support Apple and Google, but have their own technologies. There’s a lot of room for innovation. We choose to stay in Detroit. We strongly believe in the  economy and want to be in this space for this reason.

Learn more about the new company Lochbridge online.

About the Author

Amanda Lewan

Amanda Lewan

Editor @michipreneur. Co-founder Bamboo Detroit. Follow me @Amanda_Jenn. I love telling the story of entrepreneurs and innovators.