28 AI and the Driving Experience: Enhancing EVs Through Smart Technology

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On this episode, Eric Wood, Vice President of Product Experience at Rivian, discusses the future of EVs and software-defined vehicles, emphasizing the need for seamless integration and personalized experiences. He also digs into the importance of collaboration and empathy in design and he highlights the significance of customer-centric leadership and building brands that deliver on promises.

Tune in to learn:

  • How software-defined vehicles allow for continuous updates and improvements through over-the-air software updates, enhancing the product experience.
  • The importance of addressing customer feedback and how to meet the needs of a wider audience.
  • The future of EVs and software-defined vehicles and why it involves seamless integration, personalized experiences, and the use of AI to enhance the driving experience.
  • Why collaboration and empathy are essential skills in design that enable effective problem-solving and the creation of innovative solutions.
  • How to address behavioral issues in the workplace and why you need to prioritize the well-being of the team.
  • How to simplify complex products by prioritizing features based on user needs and thinking from first principles to create unique and intuitive experiences.
  • How to gain inspiration from YouTube and where other industries can provide fresh perspectives and ideas for design and user experience.

About the Guest:

“Eric Wood is the current Vice President of User Experience at Rivian. Prior to that, he was with Nembol, Telenav, University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, Shutterfly, FanKix, Inc., and Bizzy, Inc. In his role as Vice President of User Experience at Rivian, he is responsible for leading the design of the user experience for Rivian’s products and services.

Wood has over 20 years of experience in product and design. He co-founded FanKix, Inc. and was the first employee at Bizzy, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Product and Design. Wood also spent time at Shutterfly as the Head of Design for ThisLife and at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business as a Design Mentor.

At Telenav, Wood served as Vice President of Design & Global Head of User Experience Design and Research. Wood built a team of 40+ people focused on automotive software and created connected vehicle and self-driving car software experiences across the vehicle infotainment center, instrument cluster, head-up display as well as mobile phones and web applications. Telenav produced the JD Power #1 ranked built-in navigation system the last three years and became the single largest automotive navigation supplier in the North American market during his time there.

Wood has a Master of Architecture from The University of British Columbia, a BSc in Physics from The University of British Columbia, and a High School Diploma from Max Cameron Senior Secondary.”

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Episode 28