Ismail Ovacik

The future is now and already leaving our desks and heading into the real world. One particularly interesting challenge is regarding exterior design of self-driving vehicles.
Ismail Ovacik

Will the public freak out?

My line of work lies within product design, thinking on how our future products look and feel like. Today, I am responsible for exterior design for Volvo Trucks.

There really is a paradigm shift in the industry, driven by automation, connectivity and electrification. You might think they are overused buzzwords, but the change is real and it is going on right here and right now.

So, for me and my team it can boil down to questions like; What does an autonomous truck look like? It is really something unknown for most people. I mean how will the public respond to a 40-ton self-driving vehicle cruising by a school or just on the highway? Will they freak out? And now you connect that experience to our global and renowned safety thinking… That is actually a challenge for somebody who is involved in design.

It is very rewarding to know that the difference you make is big. And real.

On making a difference

I joined the team as junior designer. I remember my first day very clearly. It was in June 2008, and from that first day I was immediately involved in a project. And now, just a few years later, I am leading the exterior design team.

The great thing with this huge company is that you work in small teams, which means you get to action faster. And in these exciting times it means there is plenty of space for innovation and making a substantial difference. You are immediately involved in serious and very real things. Another thing I might add, is that when you are hired by Volvo Group, you also get trust.

Perspective and satisfaction

I feel like I am part of a global company. Not only because I exchange thoughts and ideas with colleagues in Tokyo, Lyon, and Greensboro, but also because we have a lot of project-collaborations within Volvo Group.

People tend to think we are only a truck company. Nothing could be further from the truth: we have buses, boat and industrial engines and the construction equipment, so there is room for plenty of cross collaboration. And if you are up for it, you can easily become even more global, in other words if you like to explore – you will be encouraged.

The satisfaction I feel is when I work on a project and I know it will actually see daylight. It is so rewarding to know that the difference you will make is real, and it is big. Trucks are needed if society is to prosper, we only have to keep improving, making transport solutions better and better. For my team that means being creative to develop safer and more efficient products, unmistakably Volvo.

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