2019 AGENDA:

8:00am – 9:00am


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

9:00 – 9:45am

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

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


SESSION 1: The Growing Role of Occupant and Interior Sensing
Facial recognition, eye tracking, gesture controls and other types of occupant sensing are in their infancy. More advanced sensing and increasing on-board computing power promise to greatly enhance safety and UX in future vehicles.


  • Rich Matsu – Senior Director, Engineering, Autoliv
  • Speaker TBA, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors
  • Richard Vaughan – Creative Director, CGT

SESSION 2: Building a Better UX
This session will look at new tools and strategies to help designers create better products faster.


  • Jonathon Baugh – Experience Architect, Accenture/Pillar Technology
  • Ville Kolppo – Design Director, Rightware
  • Speaker TBA – NNG

10:00 – 10:30am

Keynote Presentation

Arianne Walker – Chief Evangelist, Alexa Automotive at Amazon

Despite recent advances in cloud computing, machine learning and speech science, drivers consistently cite in-vehicle voice recognition among their top complaints. Amazon’s Alexa Auto team is addressing this gap by extending the best of Amazon Alexa into the car, and building new auto-specific features that make customers’ daily lives easier and more convenient. Arianne Walker, Chief Evangelist of Amazon Alexa Auto, will share results of a recent consumer study and show how Alexa helps to solve the voice challenges today and in the future.

10:45 – 11:30am

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

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


SESSION 3: The Latest UX Technologies for Upcoming Platforms
Lots of attention now is rightly focused on autonomous vehicle technology, but there is lots of stunning new technology that promises to have a major impact on mainstream vehicles in the next several years. This session will focus on some of the most important examples.


  • Barry Pompea – Senior Product Designer – Professional Engineering Services, Altia
  • Tim Cavanaugh – Global Product Marketing Business Development Director, Cavanaugh Consulting
  • Speaker TBA


SESSION 4: Creating a User Experience from Origin to Destination
Mobility as a Service typically looks at only one form of transportation and frequently overlooks the beginning and end of a trip. How can a rewarding journey be designed that might include walking, scooters, bicycles, shared mobility, public transportation, planes and trains as well as automobiles?


  • Sam Abuelsamid – Principal Research Analyst, Navigant Research
  • Speaker TBA
  • Scott McCormick – President, Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA)

11:45 – 12:15pm

Center Stage Discussion

HMI and Cockpit Design: Where is it Headed?
Will big touch screens go out of style? Will voice rule the cockpit of the future? Will buttons and knobs stay or go? Speakers will discuss the latest trends and technologies.

  • Mike Maddelein – Vice President of Engineering, Inteva Products
  • Liz Wetzel
  • Dave Lyon – Owner, Pocketsquare Design
  • Drew Winter – Director, Content, WardsAuto

12:15 – 12:45pm

Plated Lunch

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

12:45 – 1:30pm

Wards 10 Best User Experience Awards Ceremony

We present our fourth 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.

1:30 – 1:45pm

Networking Break/Photo-Op for Award Winners

1:45 – 2:30pm

Breakout Sessions in Meeting Rooms

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


SESSION 5: Deep Dives on Notable HMI’s 
This session will include deep dives on two of the most notable 2019 Wards 10 Best UX Winners by OEM UX designers.


  • 2019 Wards 10 Best UX Winner
  • 2019 Wards 10 Best UX Winner
  • Tom Murphy – Managing Editor, WardsAuto

SESSION 6: Consumer Acceptance to UX
Great UX should sell itself, but in many cases (such as dealer showrooms) it does not. This session will look at new ways of educating and enticing consumers as well as new servitization models for transforming products into services.


  • Paige Donnelly – Founder, Emerald Infotainment Specialists
  • Kimberly Clavin – VP, Engineering, Accenture/Pillar Technology
  • Jay Radke – Founder, Tier Six Solutions

2:45 – 3:30pm

Center Stage Discussion

The User Experience OUTSIDE the Connected Vehicle
Apps, call centers, websites, Security Operations Centers. There’s a host of UX away from the vehicle that’s important to the end-to-end UX. This session will look at questions such as: What’s the hardest part about joint engineering and IT development? How do you test the User Experience? As a joint vehicle – off board system or as separate parts? How will automotive organizational structures change in the new world?

  • Speaker TBA
  • Speaker TBA
  • Speaker TBA
  • Steve Tengler – Principal, Kugler Maag CIE North America

3:30 – 4:15pm

Center Stage Discussion

How 5G will Transform UX and Safety
5G connectivity promises to have a profound impact on automotive and automotive-related user experiences. It will create ultra-reliable, ultra-fast connections that will enable the exchange of high volumes of data. That will improve vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-everything situational awareness, improving safety and accelerating the path to autonomy.

But it also promises to allow vehicles to communicate with virtually everything around us, creating whole new realms of experiences inside and outside our cars and trucks. This session will look at all the opportunities and potential pitfalls that may be coming for UX designers and engineers – as well as consumers.

  • Steve Bell – Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
  • Don Butler – Executive Director, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford Motor Company
  • Nakul Duggal – Senior Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
  • Michael Noblett – President & CEO, American Center for Mobility


Networking Reception/Best in Show Award

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

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