Reshaping transportation through software development

For most people, heavy-duty trucks are still seen as essentially mechanical products. “When you see one on the street, the last thing you consider is how much software it has. But in reality, a truck today is almost like a smartphone on wheels,” says Reza Javaheri.
Developing software for commercial vehicle involves working with methods and practices from both the IT and automotive industries. “We work with the latest technologies and platforms, and with the latest methods of software engineering,” says Reza Javaheri.

The Volvo Group was recently the first to release commercial vehicles featuring the Android Automotive Embedded 10 and Alexa – earlier than many automakers. “For drivers, this provides them with a great platform, which they are familiar with from their phones, and gives them the possibility to have access to services and apps just like their phones,” says Reza Javaheri, Technology and Strategy Leader at the Volvo Group. “There are also a lot of benefits for fleet owners and managers, who can quickly and easily integrate the vehicle’s digital services into their business.”

At its core, the commercial vehicle industry is still being driven by the same demands as always: fuel efficiency, productivity and uptime. But increasingly, the means for meeting those demands is through connected services and software rather than a vehicle’s mechanical hardware. This is why Reza Javaheri believes the industry offers so many opportunities for software developers and IT professionals.

“As a software engineer, you want to work in a vibrant environment where you have opportunities to excel and enhance your skills,” he says. “You will find this working with commercial vehicles. At the Volvo Group, we work in a truly cross-functional team. We work with the latest technologies and platforms, and with the latest methods of software engineering. Sometimes we even get to work with technologies and software before they have been released to the public.”

As a Technology and Strategy Leader, Reza Javaheri works with the Volvo Group’s onboard platform strategy, and the role has its challenges. “Sometimes it feels like you’re trying to bridge two different worlds,” he explains. “The automotive industry is over 100 years old and has very established ways of working, and we’re working in collaboration with disruptive IT companies like Google and Amazon. But it’s very exciting too because there is much we can learn from them. We really acknowledge the digital transformation trend in the Volvo Group. New service design and development techniques can create new business opportunities.”

It is also a challenge that is creating opportunities, and why Reza Javaheri believes the automotive industry is an ideal place to build a career in software engineering. “You get a very good foundation working with software companies and working with the latest methods of software engineering. And because it is such a new field with software only just starting to make inroads into the automotive industry, you can see so many untapped areas and potential for growth.”

: Reza Javaheri
Title: Technology and Strategy Leader
Age: 37
Background: Studied software engineering at Chalmers University in Gothenburg, Sweden. Prior to joining the Volvo Group, he worked within the automotive and transportation industry. Co-funded Automotive Grade Android, an open innovation digital platform to channel apps onboard vehicles, which was later succeeded by Google’s Android Automotive Embedded (AAE).
Years at Volvo Group: 7
What drives you: Being part of the digital transformation journey towards sustainable transport, together with amazing colleagues.

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