General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been quoted saying the automotive industry will experience more dramatic change in the next decade than it has in the past 50 years, and more so than ever, women are taking important roles, especially within General Motors.
General Motors has already been named one of the best places for Latina women to work, but women are also taking the lead on some of the most important technology in the industry today. General Motors has highlighted three as of recent.
Trista Schieffer, Lead Development Engineer for Battery Electric Vehicles
Although electric vehicles aren’t nearly as popular as gasoline powered vehicles, they’re becoming a feasible alternative gasoline vehicles. General Motors has committed to the technology, committing to manufacture 500,000 vehicles globally with some sort of electrification. That includes the upcoming fully electric vehicles based on the Chevrolet Bolt concept.
Trista Schieffer is responsible for ensuring electric powertrains work in concert with other components to meet customer expectations.
“I love problem solving,” said Schieffer. “I collaborate with people to deliver efficient solutions to solve ride, handling, noise, vibration, comfort, storage, heating, cooling, safety, energy efficiency – all aspects of a vehicle. Together we make sure the parts and systems are integrated so the vehicle performs in the manner our customers anticipate. As vehicles rely less and less on traditional fuel systems – or, in certain cases, not at all – we face new challenges.”
Rebecca Roth, Infotainment Product Owner
It’s more prevalent than ever that we’re seeing the infotainment system emerge as a key component to mainstream vehicles. Consumers expect the latest and greatest when stepping inside of a vehicle for their entertainment and information needs.
Rebecca Roth’s job is ensure things are integrated in a smart and safe matter for drivers’ lives. Her biggest project thus far is the Smart Grid, an intelligent system that allows two-way communication between the electric company and the homeowner or their electric vehicles – picking charging times from right now to off hours when electricity use is lower and costs less.
“We’re developing software to make everything simpler and greener,” said Roth. “As a coder, I love it when software can make a person’s life easier and make the world a better place.”
Jessica Moreno, Program Manager, V2V Security Credential Management
In some of the most groundbreaking technology as of recent, vehicle to vehicle communications will begin to rise as a defining factor during our daily commutes. Cars will talk to each other to help understand routes better, avoiding traffic jams and preventing accidents. The 2017 Cadillac CTS is expected to be the first vehicle in the U.S. to implement V2V technology.
Jessica Moreno and her team are working so that when that day arrives, only the necessary information is shared.
“The software that we’re developing helps certify that a vehicle is a trusted and reliable source of information thereby allowing it to communicate with other vehicles on the road,” Moreno explains. “I have two small children and vehicle safety is extremely important to me.”
We’re nearly ready to turn the page on what we think we know about the automobile, but with brilliant minds like this, the future seems a tad brighter.