We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nick Pudar, the director of General Motors' developer ecosystem, during I ♥ APIs 2013 to discuss how the digital, connected world is transforming the auto industry. We've just published the video of our conversation.
With its OnStar in-vehicle security and communications service, the giant automaker has been in the connectivity business for a long time, Pudar said. But GM has extended this in recent years to include an application framework in its vehicles that lets customers download apps customized to their particular vehicle, he said.
"We know that our customers want their connected lifestyle to work seamlessly," Pudar said. "In the old days we used to draw our vehicle and the constellation of other things all around it. That's not the right way to think about it. It's the customer that's in the middle and we are part of the constellation of their connected world."
Automobiles are a unique and complicated piece of technology, Pudar said, built to last for decades. Connectivity technologies, on the other hand, have a much faster lifecycle. To marry the two, a platform approach, one that is "friendly for developers and other interfacing companies," was the way to go, Pudar argued.
"We want to abstract the intricacies and complexities of automative platforms," he said. "The API approach and platform is one very effective way to get that done." Pudar described GM's creation of an app framework, tools, and APIs for developers as a "very large-scale implementation to drive the innovation quotient farther for our customers."
For an in-depth look at GM OnStar's digital journey, check out Pudar's on-stage presentation at I ♥ APIs 2013.