Developing the sustainable transport solutions of the future

Volvo Group Connected Solutions is a global organisation within the Volvo Group with responsibility for developing the group’s connected services and solutions. It is also an arena for the creation of innovative services in collaboration with customers, partners and other companies in the Volvo Group. The organisation develops ground-breaking technologies and sustainable transport solutions that will help to transform society.
Ingrid Brinkenberg and Dimitris Baltas,  Backend developers
Ingrid Brinkenberg and Dimitris Baltas, Backend developers

Ingrid Brinkenberg was originally a research biologist before she retrained as a data engineer. Four years ago, just after completing her degree, Ingrid was awarded a consultancy contract with Volvo Group Connected Solutions. Two years later, her consultancy role became a permanent job.

“What appealed to me was the opportunity to become involved in developing connected solutions that can make transport systems more efficient and reduce their impact on society and the environment. I was also attracted by the fact that this is a company at the cutting edge of technology with a cloud-based infrastructure and a completely agile organisation,” says Ingrid, who is now a Java application developer at Volvo Group Connected Solutions.

Agile team

While she was still at university, Ingrid heard that Volvo is very good at looking after its employees, which includes offering them a lot of freedom combined with responsibility and creating a supportive culture that permeates the entire business.

“I’m a member of a self-organising agile team. We take our own decisions and structure our own work. Among other things, my team has developed the code that manages the activation of connected services for all types of Volvo products. The team is large and has a number of subgroups that support the entire Volvo Group with different types of connected solutions. This means that the team has an extensive network covering the whole of the Volvo Group,” explains Ingrid.

She particularly appreciates the fact that the project work is structured in sprints, which means that the team works on a task for two weeks, makes a partial delivery and then receives rapid feedback from the client.

“Most people associate Volvo with hardware, but we are also a software company. When I joined I was surprised by the fact that the entire chain is connected, regardless of the type of vehicle. As an employer, Volvo is good at identifying each individual employee’s strengths and giving them the opportunity to develop within these areas. For example, I’ve had a try at being a scrum master, which was a really exciting challenge. Volvo is a company with a strong vision of what it wants to achieve, but also a clear picture of how to get there,” says Ingrid.

Connected solutions

“I applied to Volvo because I knew that it was a company that was developing cutting-edge connected solutions, which was an area I was curious about and wanted to become involved in,” says Dimitris Baltas, backend developer at Volvo Group Connected Solutions.

He comes originally from Greece and moved to Sweden in 2018 after completing a master’s degree in computer science. Dimitris also has a background in mathematics. As a backend developer, he focuses on creating new connected solutions and maintaining existing ones for products from across the Volvo Group.

“One factor that makes my job so worthwhile is that I can help to develop digital solutions that make people’s lives easier all over the world. I also like the fact that Volvo is a company which is constantly moving forward. There is no backward thinking. One of the main driving forces behind our work with connected solutions is the challenge of continuously improving our existing systems and developing new solutions that bring even more added value for end users and society as a whole,” explains Dimitris.

Analysing data

In recent months, he has been developing a system that receives data from connected vehicles and then sends it to infrastructure systems to allow customers to monitor a number of business parameters in real time, such as servicing, the vehicle’s current location, fuel consumption, route planning and warnings.

“It feels good that the code I’m writing will really make a difference and create added value for our customers. Developing connected solutions at Volvo is rewarding hands-on work at the very forefront of technological development,” says Dimitris.

Photo: Lisa Jabar

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