Smart | Adaptive | Intuitive | Technology


8:00am – 9:00am


Pick up your badge, join us for continental breakfast, network with your peers and make new connections.

9:00am – 9:45am

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

Attend your choice of panel discussions featuring user experience professionals from top automakers and suppliers.


PANEL A: Creating A Happier, Less-Stressful Life with AI in the Cockpit
Imagine vehicles that will allow you to go shopping just by looking at a store from the driver’s seat, do online banking or having your car develop a less-stressful commute by reading your emotions.
Experts from Nuance and Harman will explain how combining AI with eye-tracking technology, facial recognition, voice print recognition, iris recognition, voice commands and mapping data can create new consumer experiences and happier, more productive commutes.


PANEL B: Innovations Outside the Automotive Industry
Automotive is moving fast, but most other industries have shorter lead times and fewer regulations. What are they up to, what can automotive learn from them and how might they impact future mobility? The implications for such things as wireless, smart home, and automotive verticals as well as trends in virtual reality, artificial reality, chatbots, messaging, streaming video and other topics.

10:00am – 10:45am

Center Stage Discussion:

How to Create Trust Inside and Outside Autonomous Vehicles

Creating trust is key to the acceptance of self-driving vehicles, but passengers are not the only ones who need to be persuaded. Drivers of conventional vehicles sharing the road – and pedestrians – must be convinced AVs always are aware and capable of responding appropriately to changing scenarios.

  • John Shutko, Human Factors Technical Specialist for Self-Driving Vehicles, Ford Motor Co.
  • Melissa Cefkin, Principal Researcher – Human Centered Systems, Nissan Research Center
  • Kristin Kolodge, Executive Director – Driver Interaction & HMI, J.D. Power
  • Moderator: Sam Abuelsamid, Senior Research Analyst, Navigant Research

11:15am – 12:00pm

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

Attend your choice of panel discussions featuring user experience professionals from top automakers and suppliers.


PANEL C: How to Personalize a Shared Platform
Autonomy and connectivity are challenging the traditional relationship consumers have with personal mobility. Using examples from hyperloop pods and aerospace, to more conventional examples, presenters will discuss how to personalize relationships with brands rather than vehicles and create portable profiles and new relationships that are secure and enduring. It’s all about addressing the auto industry’s transition from being a “product” to becoming a “platform”.


PANEL D: Newest Tech and Concepts for Enhancing UX

Customer demand is driving the center stack towards open ecosystems, while the automotive environment continues to pose strict requirements on the instrument cluster. Rightware will discuss “OEM Branding in an Age of Apps and Online Services and how OEMs can take advantage of third-party ecosystems, from app stores to maps to AI, across the digital cockpit, while maintaining OEM brand identity. User Validation in the Auto Industry: It’s more than clusters and cup holdersis Pillar Technology’s presentation. The talk will explore the future of user testing and validation for the auto industry including tips and tricks that go beyond the glass slab.

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Plated Lunch

Join us in the ballroom for lunch with your colleagues, our speakers, sponsors and WardsAuto team members.

12:30pm – 1:15pm

Wards 10 Best User Experience Awards Ceremony

We present our second annual awards recognizing the new model year vehicles with the best overall UX, determined by a panel of WardsAuto judges, as OEM and UX team representatives will be called on stage to accept their award.

1:30pm – 2:15pm

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

Attend your choice of panel discussions featuring user experience professionals from top automakers and suppliers.


PANEL E: Minimizing Distraction While Adding Features
Connectivity and competition among automakers to have the latest features is increasing the complexity of vehicle cockpits, leading to confusion and distrust among many consumer and adding potential distraction risks.  Panelists will discuss design strategies and mindsets that can reduce complexity and guide designers and engineers to simpler paths that will instill greater trust in connected vehicle ecosystems.


PANEL F: Smart, Functional Materials, Morphing Controls
The User Experience comes in many forms. It can be tactile, visual, audible and more. Shape-shifting interiors, reconfigurable displays, multi-function buttons and transparent materials all can positively transform interiors and UX.

2:20pm – 3:00pm

Center Stage Discussion:

The Ever Changing Cockpit of the Future

New technologies, concepts and customer expectations are changing the way we envision future cockpits almost daily. Participants will discuss the latest designs and philosophies about how drivers and passengers will interact with vehicles in the future.

    • Stefan Buerkle, Vice President – Sales, Bosch
    • Mike Maddelein, VP of Engineering, Inteva
    • Chris Atkinson, UX Global Project Manager, Electric, Autonomous, Trucks & Luxury Vehicles, Ford Motor Co.
    • Moderator: Drew Winter, Director, Content, WardsAuto

3:15pm – 4:00pm

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

Attend your choice of panel discussions featuring user experience professionals from top automakers and suppliers.


PANEL G: Deep Dives on Notable HMI’s for 2018
The HMI is not the entire vehicle user experience, but it is the centerpiece. In this session OEM presenters provide a detailed look at two of the most innovative and interesting HMIs in production.


PANEL H: Promoting Health, Wellness and Safety with Biometrics
Biometric sensors can transform the user experience by using LED lighting to soothe or energize occupants and create driver alerts that do startle or distract. They also aid self-driving systems and Biometric authentication through iris scanning can bring new levels of convenience, safety and security. Panelists will discuss specific examples of how biometrics currently are improving vehicle UX and how they will transform future mobility.

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Networking Reception

Join us for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the ballroom and mingle with speakers, sponsors, attendees and WardsAuto editors and analysts.

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