Find out how CloudMade is building a new generation of cars.
Compared with other industries, such as the telecommunication, cars haven’t progressed quite as quickly as you’d have thought. CloudMade works with car manufacturers such as Ford, Renault, Jaguar and Land Rovers to help them get up to speed. Co-founder Nick Black told us how.
CloudMade is here to make cars easier, more pleasurable and more exciting by learning the habits of the driver and then using this to assist. It’s as if you had a co-driver sitting next to you. Let’s take air conditioning as an example: Some people put on the air conditioning, others prefer to open the window. What we do is learn the time and the situation in which the driver likes to have the air conditioning on and at what temperature. Another example: imagine you are at work and need to pick up your kids from school, CloudMade can connect with your calendar and with traffic information to send you a message if there is traffic, alerting you to leave work early.
Sounds handy, when can we get it?
There are lots of connected cars today, but there are none with the kind of functionalities that CloudMade offers – it will be available in cars in 2016.
How will your business change the world?
Driving will be a lot more interesting and people will get a lot more excited about cars. By 2020, the millennial generation will make up 52% of the car buying public and we help car manufacturers to attract them – because today, millennials are just not interested in cars, they find them a turn-off. In the next two years, we will see a massive transformation – instead of the driver figuring out how to use the car, the car will learn about the driver and will give him or her the services needed at the right time. It will know where you are going, which route you want to take and which route is the safest.
Where did the idea come from?
It’s hard to trace the idea because the three of us, Juha Christensen our CEO, James Brown our CTO and myself have worked together for a while. We started seven years ago and have been focusing on the car industry for the past four years because the car is the last space to be connected. Crafting the user experience that sits in front of somebody every single day is an immense challenge and opportunity, so we decided to focus all of our efforts just on the connected car. The product we have today is a result of our own ideas, what the customers in the industry told us and what we learned from the drivers.
Was there a point when you realised that your business would work?
Yes, when we started to engage with a few very senior people at some of the German car manufacturers and they said: “This is the thing we’ve been wanting to do for the last five years and now we can do it with you.”
How do you know when you have reached your goal?
There are multiple goals along the way. Something we are very focused on now is getting our first car onto the market, which will happen in 2016, and the following goal is to work intensely with those customers to help them further improve the experiences for drivers.
Once you’ve made all your millions with this project, what’s next?
One of the things that became very clear to me at CloudMade is the impact of millennials on the world. I think, one by one, the big industries – whether it is automotive, finance or publishing – are going to be toppled by companies that understand how to address millennials and whatever I do next, it’s going to be a business that enables, supports and surveys them.
For more information, visit cloudmade.com