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Kal Gyimesi Explains IBM’s role in the automotive world

Today IBM announced a pilot project that will identify the possibilities of connecting two neighboring metropolitan areas – Bratislava, Slovakia, and Vienna, Austria, with a “green” highway. This highway will interconnect the two cities with a network of public charging stations for electric vehicles. It also announced another project with Honda Motors and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that will allow communication between EVs and the power grid. For the first time, an EV will receive a location-based charge schedule that is based on current grid conditions – all in a matter of seconds.

I met with Kal Gyimesi, Automotive Leader at IBM’s Institute for Business Value recently in order to understand how best IBM was using its resources to help the automobile industry especially when it comes to electric cars, EV. The answers were interesting and show a company that has put its research strength into an industry reinventing itself.

To start with Kal, what got you interested in the automotive field?

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Like most young men, I was always fascinated with cars growing up and the auto industry held an appeal to me. As I started working and my career developed, I came to appreciate how incredibly complex the industry is and its many opportunities. I witnessed last decade a serious push toward sustainability that bloomed into the introduction of electric cars, EV. Considering the auto industry is a linchpin of the economy for many developed and emerging a countries, I wanted to focus on it.

What is IBM’s automotive purpose and what does it aim to achieve?

IBM is, of course, a provider of traditional IT services to our clients, but we are also able to go much deeper as a strategic business partner. We help automakers in three general areas – Marketing, Sales and Service, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management and Product Lifecycle Management. Marketing, Sales and Service focuses on social media analytics as well as sales and service optimization with the goal to better connect with the customer, while Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management helps reduce costs and improve responsiveness across operations. Finally, Product Lifecycle Management looks at vehicle development and manufacturing. For example, the IBM simulation and software tools that helped General Motors bring the Chevy Volt to market in a record 29 months.

IBM is also involved in unique projects with industries. IBM Research is leading a broad initiative of Government, Academia and some private sector companies to develop the next generation of electric vehicle batteries. The project is called Battery500 and its goal is to move beyond Lithium-ion, to develop batteries using a Lithium-Air format.

The growth and success of EVs is dependent upon improving battery life, developing a national infrastructure and implementing a smart electric grid to address increased electricity demand while maintaining reliable, high quality electricity to fuel up. IBM is continuing to work with utilities, automotive companies and other industry bodies to ensure infrastructure readiness, that we have the right technologies in place, the appropriate business models are being utilized and consumers are being offered a positive EV experience.

How do you see the challenges that confront automaker and how, in your experience are they reacting to it?

Most companies are eager to meet these challenges and they view it as a marathon more than a sprint. Many automakers are leveraging a vast array of creative partnerships that helps not only address some of the challenges but also helps shape the consumer experience. From what I can see, there is a strong commitment to the electric vehicle. There’s broad recognition that electrification will happen over time. The main obstacle is obviously scaling EVs intelligently and bringing down pricing so that they make sense at all levels for consumers.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Kal Gyimesi Explains IBM’s role in the automotive world – National Electric car | Examiner.com
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