Expert Talks: TTTech Auto's Chief Growth Officer Friedhelm Pickhard
Friedhelm Pickhard, CGO TTTech Auto
Friedhelm Pickhard, Chief Growth Officer at TTTech Auto, was recently appointed to the Executive Board. The experienced automotive executive previously led Bosch subsidiary ETAS as its CEO for 10 years. He joined TTTech Auto in April 2021 and has extensive plans to further advance the company as a leading provider of safety software platforms and operating system components for the automotive industry.
There are few industries experiencing greater change today than the automotive industry. Consumers are keeping their cars longer and buying them new less often. Instead, digital-age car buyers prefer customer-centric vehicles that can be personalized and updated like a smartphone. In the future, over-the-air software updates of vehicle functions will add value even after the initial purchase. According to a recent McKinsey 2020 consumer survey, "OEMs that fail to meet the bar risk losing customers." Accordingly, 37 percent of respondents would switch car brands for improvements in areas such as autonomous driving and connectivity. This willingness to switch even rises to as high as 56 percent in Asian countries, like China. Similarly, 39 percent of consumers were interested in unlocking additional digital features after purchasing a vehicle - a figure that rises to 47 percent for customers of premium OEMs.
This means faster release and iteration cycles on the development side. To help global automakers meet these demands, TTTech Auto is adapting its software development practices since 2021 and will be increasing its geostrategic focus.
"Growth and performance close to our customers are top priority for TTTech Auto. Therefore, we warmly welcome Friedhelm as a member of the board who will bring his extensive knowledge in this area," says Georg Kopetz, co-founder of TTTech Auto. "One of our priorities as a board will be to support our customers on their way to the software-based car as effectively and efficiently as possible."
Friedhelm Pickhard is convinced that innovation combined with excellence in software engineering, continuous development, a strong user experience and a clear focus on growth are three pillars that will position TTTech Auto as a quality leader in the global market for middleware and operating systems.
What are the key priorities in your position as Chief Growth Officer?
Our goal is to set the benchmark in software delivery, software excellence and user experience. We want to support leading automotive manufacturers by providing them with the safety foundation they need to flexibly integrate advanced software features. A Continuous X Software Factory as part of TTTech Auto will support this. We will streamline our design and testing and eliminate potential bugs at an early stage with short control loops. We will support faster release cycles for our customers and even more flexible interaction in an increasingly dynamic market.
What is the benefit to the customer of TTTech Auto offering a Continuous X Software Factory?
In general, the benefit of our core MotionWise product is very clear: MotionWise is the most advanced safety software platform that gives automakers the freedom to implement third-party applications and services that can help them stand out in the market within a safety context of a car. Automotive manufacturers are currently facing a changing and very dynamic economic environment. We will reflect this in our development structure. We will actively support our customers on their way to digital mobility and the software-based vehicle by accelerating the efficiency of their software development. Thanks to our continuous built and test infrastructure we are able to incorporate new features with benchmark lead time and deliver software that can be deployed daily in the future. All deliverables will, of course, incorporate TTTech Auto's key competency: Safety. Our goal is to make TTTech Auto a company that sets the standard for safety software delivery and software quality in the Automotive industry.
What does this mean for TTTech Auto as a company?
With the introduction of Continuous X, we are making a paradigm shift in software development. We aim to intelligently combine the agility of the IT industry with the experience of a software company for safety applications. The goal is to achieve the development speed of the IT industry without compromising safety - when it comes to safety, there can be no compromises.
This applies to test-driven design, for example, but also to the continuous development of the existing software base and requires a mindset that continuously improves the quality of the code base while we enrich it with new functions without increasing complexity.
Quality and safety are the core brand of TTTech Auto in everything that we do. We will collaborate and communicate even more closely with our customers to always keep pace with changing requirements, while ensuring high safety standards throughout the development process. Our advantage is that safety and automation are already part of our DNA. What we want to do now is bring it even closer to our customers to support them in reducing their time to market.
How will this impact TTTech Auto's key product, the MotionWise safety software platform?
MotionWise is an excellent product and the number one for safety functionality on the market. Now we focus on improving the user experience. We want our customers to have a seamless user experience at all touchpoints with MotionWise, considering the complete software life cycle including updates.
In this regard, we are going all out. We are evolving MotionWise into an easier-to-use, self-managed software platform. For our customers, this means easier integration and adoption, as well as self-maintained customization to meet individual project needs. Customers who incorporate MotionWise into their upcoming product will save time and effort and be able to use the software more independently.
Our goal is to evolve MotionWise from a project software to a universal product that requires only minor customization to be reliably used in production programs. An overarching goal is to increase the development performance of our customers with our high-quality standard software and tools.
Are there further growth plans for TTTech Auto in China?
China is an important growth market for TTTech Auto. Not only in terms of pure market volume, but also in terms of openness to new technologies. Almost three quarters of the Chinese population are open in principle to autonomous driving and autonomous driving vehicles. That shows an enormous affinity for technology, compared with autonomy advocates in Europe and the U.S., who make up only one third of potential customers.
We have already established a strong footprint in this area through Technomous, our joint venture with SAIC in Shanghai. TTTech Auto plans to expand further in this market. With our technology, we offer a secure and solid basis for the rapidly developing, innovation-driven Chinese automotive market.
Accelerate your journey towards highly automated driving with MotionWise safety software platform. MotionWise delivers safety by design and fail-operational performance while managing the high complexity of solution elements. As a result, OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers can benefit from faster time-to-market for their automated driving projects and increased competitive edge at reduced costs.
About the Contributor
Friedhelm Pickhard is a member of the executive board at TTTech Auto. As Chief Growth & Performance Officer (CGO) he is responsible for engineering performance, quality, growth strategy and execution.
He has over 30 years of experience in automotive and defense industry in various engineering and management roles. He has several years of experience in business and R&D management in Asia. He received his degree (Dipl.-Ing.) in Electrical Engineering from the Ruhr University Bochum and in Communication Engineering from the University of Paderborn.