Muriel Desaeger is technical general manager in R&D at Toyota Motor Europe where her role involves seeking new technologies to bring to the forefront of the organization.                                                                                                               

Describe what inspires you about the connected car industry.

I am inspired by this new ecosystem with a purpose that is very close to the well-being and enjoyment of people. Being connected is part of the modern social contract. We expect connectivity and do it in many ways: by smartphone, by social media, and of course – just talking together! At the end of the day, it’s all about connection, and that’s what is pleasing to people. I like the idea that members of AECC are using their best thinking to leverage modern technology in order to provide the best solutions for connected vehicles — it’s truly a pleasure to pursue this mission!

Tell us about your involvement with AECC.

I see my role as striving to bring the best of Europe into the AECC. As we know, the AECC is a global organization with several industry players representing businesses from all major regions. Being based in Belgium, I look for ways to include the European outlook. It’s important for the connected car industry to address requirements that are relevant to all stakeholders in Europe. Everyone has their own interests and requirements in addition to wanting the industry to succeed globally.

What have you learned from collaborating with the AECC?

I have learned that our work touches a very complex scenario. Complex because it involves so many members actively researching use cases where we have never been before. In that sense, it’s very challenging, but also, I see that within the AECC, there is a firm mindset to be very precise, factual, and to bring all our competitors aboard. Success for all stakeholders requires systematic collaboration.

Can you share what you have enjoyed most about being an AECC member?

What I enjoy the most is that I can be with other people — scientists and engineers — who are putting their best knowledge on the table and that they are there for constructive engagement. I have enjoyed this spirit of serious collaboration in each working group meeting I have attended.

In your experience, what is the benefit of joining the AECC – particularly for “non-car” companies and industries? 

I would recommend that potential stakeholders outside the automotive industry join the AECC. It will bring them many benefits. They will experience the discovery of a wider, more open view of how collaboration can propel a larger cause. Until the emergence of the AECC, these various industries have worked separately toward independent visions of connected vehicles and how they might fit in. Membership in the AECC enables direct, immediate collaboration with all the important players, which is a fair and amazing platform that benefits every company that participates. Especially “non-car” companies! I also have seen that the work done by AECC members is based on fact-based and ground-based thinking. Our work will be translated into future standardization. So, if your company wants to be part of this and prepare itself for the future of connected vehicles, the AECC is really a good place to start.

Our readers are interested in your views on the future of the connected vehicle market. Where do you see it going? How will it evolve?

I see the connected vehicle market evolving dramatically and quickly, because I think it touches what human beings want to have. Everyone wants smooth and useful services from the car. When you’re in the car and it applies the brakes for you, you are pleased. When the car reminds you to do something important for its operation, you are pleased. And at the end of the day, pleasure is what we want to bring. I think that use cases for connected vehicles will continue to go in that direction. It’s important that members of the AECC strive to make connected vehicle technology serve the pleasures or the positive feelings of the driver and the people in the car.