HARMAN named a finalist for five Reuters D.R.I.V.E. Honours

20th September 2023
Paige West

HARMAN has been shortlisted for five awards in the Reuters D.R.I.V.E Honours, an annual event recognising automotive excellence globally, celebrating innovation, commitment, impact, and leadership within the industry.

Christian Sobottka, President of Automotive at HARMAN, has been shortlisted in the category of ‘Visionary Leader’ for the part he has played in transforming HARMAN’s business, processes, and culture to position it as the in-cabin experience partner of choice for the automotive industry. Under his lead, the company has developed a full line-up of ‘Ready’ products that deliver compelling in-cabin experiences, resulting in remarkable commercial success. Key to this transformation has been a shift in organisational culture, enabled by Sobottka. He has been instrumental in nurturing an environment of trust and transparency where employees are empowered to bring their unique ideas to the table and play an active and purposeful role in the company’s transformation.

Also a finalist is Katrin Schneider, Senior VP of System Test & Validation, who has been recognised in the ‘Empowering Women’ category. Schneider was nominated for her outstanding leadership qualities and success in implementing a new agile organisational structure derived from the software development sector, as well as her mentorship to empower young women to strive for new roles within the company.

In addition to recognition for its team members, the HARMAN Global Automotive Mentoring Programme has been shortlisted for the commitment it demonstrates to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ‘DEI Commitment’ award recognises projects and initiatives that foster progressive, diverse workforces. Since 2019, the HARMAN Global Automotive Mentoring Programme has been developing employee skills globally through knowledge transfer, increasing staff engagement, promoting career development, boosting diversity and inclusion, and expanding the company’s leadership pipeline.

In the ‘Innovation’ category, both HARMAN’s Ready Care and Ready Upgrade products have been shortlisted for pushing boundaries and driving industry advancement. These are part of HARMAN Automotive’s expanding portfolio of products that are designed and built to deliver consumer experience at automotive grade.

Launched in September 2022, HARMAN Ready Care is the industry’s first closed-loop interior sensing and tailored interventions product that measures eye activity, cognitive load, and vital signs to gauge attention on the road. Utilising advanced sensor technology, predictive artificial intelligence, learnings from neuroscience and personalised interventions, Ready Care enhances driver focus, wellbeing, and occupant safety, and equips drivers with intelligent tools to promote safer behaviours while driving.

Also in the running is HARMAN Ready Upgrade, a set of fully upgradeable, production-ready hardware and software products that allow OEMs to deliver updates throughout the life of the vehicle to meet consumer technology expectations. It empowers consumers to add and upgrade their in-vehicle experiences as easily as they would their smartphones, helping to equip vehicles for today and tomorrow. The innovative product has premium manufacturer Ferrari as its first confirmed customer, which will leverage it to deliver fully upgradeable consumer electronics-level experiences into the cabin across its vehicle line-up, quickly, and cost effectively.

HARMAN’s products, executives, and initiatives will go up against OEMs and other automotive industry suppliers for the highly-competitive Reuters D.R.I.V.E Honours, with the winners set to be announced on 19 October 2023.

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