Magna International has assembled a star-studded advisory council of technology experts to guide it on new product and business decisions.
Led by Magna's chief technology officer, Swamy Kotagiri, the Technology Advisory Council will help the supplier plan strategy on emerging industrial and consumer technologies as Magna moves deeper into autonomous-drive product lines.
"Industry innovations are crossing paths a lot more today than in the past," Kotagiri told Automotive News. "The car is affected today by anything that happens [with] computers or semiconductors or advanced products in a lot of industries.
"As we look at mobility concepts as a whole," he said, "it's a good idea to get a fresh set of ideas from different fields."
The panel will consist of:
- Mei-Wei Cheng, chairman of Pactera Technology International Ltd., and previously CEO of the Chinese subsidiaries of Ford, General Electric, AT&T and Siemens.
- Tony Fadell, founder of the Internet company Nest, and a former Apple executive credited with inventing the iPod.
- Ian Hunter, an inventor and professor of mechanical engineering in charge of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's BioInstrumentation Lab.
- John Maddox, CEO of the American Center for Mobility and former associate administrator at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Paul Mascarenas, former chief technical officer at Ford, and a board director at ON Semiconductor and U.S. Steel Corp.
Kotagiri said the group will be solicited on topics as diverse as consumer electronics and product design.
"We will be looking at how we see automotive going forward," he said. "How many electric vehicles will there be, how many hybrids and what type of hybrids? What type of motor should we be looking at? It will go that deep and be that specific."