CloudMade Forms The Autolabs – a New Automotive Alliance of Innovative Millennials-Focused Partners

Menlo Park, CA – CloudMade and a group of innovative technology partners including Cogniance, Navmii, Parkopedia, peiker, Pelagicore and Nebula Systems, are joining hands to launch The Autolabs. This strategic global automotive alliance will let the members better communicate with and serve their clients while remaining independent entities.

The Autolabs will officially launch at TU Automotive Detroit 2015 on June 3-4. The central alliance office will be based in Menlo Park, CA, but it will also have several physical locations worldwide that are co-working spaces for car hacking and innovation.

The Autolabs alliance will unlock significant value for both auto manufacturers and software companies and innovators alike. It will help automotive brands select the right partners, define a shared strategy, create great end-to-end experiences and leverage the alliance’s strong leadership to overcome the challenges the automotive industry faces today and tomorrow.

The objective behind the formation of this alliance is to address a specific market challenge: Millennials. They will make up 52% of the car buying audience by 2020, but Millennials show a high degree of apathy towards cars as the car is the only place in our digital world that still remains essentially unconnected. This always-connected generation is accustomed to Apple-like experiences, with an app for their every need or desire. They are accustomed to instant responses, be it for food delivery, laundry service, a rental car or travel recommendations. For the auto industry to address the new reality of this rising, influential demographic that is soon to enter the car purchasing market, they must adopt technologies from service-defined industries. Otherwise, they face losing Millennials to other modes of transportation.

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The Autolabs consists of forward-thinking technology companies that can address this problem. By having a thorough understanding of the needs of Millennials and the connected technologies that define their lifestyles, members of The Autolabs can deliver targeted innovation to the automotive industry. The ultimate goal of the alliance is to help build cars that excite Millennials, capture drivers when they are young, and win their lifetime loyalty.

Commenting on the announcement, Juha Christensen, CEO of CloudMade said, “This partnership will be crucial in helping auto manufacturers and technology companies more easily collaborate, allowing everyone to move at a faster pace of innovation and create cars ready for Millennials”.

“Today, we support leading car makers in taking ownership of their in-vehicle HMI and Connectivity software and develop user experiences that are quite simply stunning.”, says Alex Diebald, VP User Experience at Pelagicore, “Tomorrow, brings innovations to connect your brand to Millennials. The Autolabs fits our Open Source strategy perfectly and provides an open arena for a broad ecosystem to collaboratively take automotive user experiences to the next level”.

“The Autolabs alliance is an important initiative as Millennials are a quickly emerging influence on the future of the automotive industry,” said Mathias Köhler, CTO of peiker. “Collaboration across the industry is what’s needed to solve this major market challenge and we’re delighted to be actively involved in this effort. I am excited that we, peiker, as an established automotive tier-1 supplier and a leader in automotive connectivity, can combine our experience from the car industry and our innovative technologies with the enormous momentum of young Silicon Valley firms and international companies, bringing in their experience from Consumer Electronics, Smartphones and Cloud Computing.”

The alliance is open! Companies interested in joining the movement and becoming The Autolabs members should visit

June 3rd, 2015 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in company announcement, connected car, The Autolabs

The Millennial Ready Car – Video Introduction.

CloudMade’s Chief Product Officer, Nick Black, gave a presentation to the Autotech Council in San Jose last Friday 8th May. We recorded it for you – you can check it out below.

Nick and his team are ready to turn your ideas into Millennial ready designs, concepts and products.  Get in touch to find out more.

May 12th, 2015 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in connected car, events, self-learning car, talks

CloudMade Makes it to 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers 2015

CloudMade receives an honorable mention in the annual automotive edition of the CIOReview titled, “20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers 2015”.

Click here to read the CloudMade company profile which is now live on the CIOReview website.

CloudMade makes it to CIOReview’s top Automotive Technology Solution Providers list for its expertise in user experience design for consumer mobility solutions, ranging from connected cars to on-dash navigation to smartphone applications to wearables, spanning all phases of design from early conceptual thinking through to research, field testing, focus groups, execution and refinement.

Certificate of Honor

FREMONT, CA — April 28, 2015 — CIOReview has chosen CloudMade for its 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers 2015. The positioning is based on an evaluation of the company’s offering for connected car solutions and know-how that enable stunning user experiences and OEMs differentiation.

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The annual list of companies is selected by a panel of experts and members of CIOReview’s editorial board to recognize and promote technology entrepreneurship. “CloudMade has been on our radar for some time for stirring a revolution in the automotive space, and we are happy to showcase them this year due to their continuing excellence in delivering top-notch automotive technology solutions,” said Harvi Sachar, Publisher and Founder, CIOReview. “CloudMade’s solutions continued to break new ground within the past year, benefiting its customers around the globe, and we’re excited to have them featured on our top companies list.”

“We are glad to be recognized by CIOReview’s panel of experts and thought leaders as a top supplier of connected car technology. Sharing our passion for innovation, we are happy to fuel the connected car revolution and support OEMs in transforming the connected car user experiences.” said Juha Christensen, Chairman and CEO, CloudMade.

About CloudMade
CloudMade is a global software supplier to the automotive industry based in Menlo Park, CA. With a strong focus on innovation, CloudMade builds comprehensive solutions and blocks for the connected car that enable automotive manufacturers create stunning connected car experiences. CloudMade helps OEMs better understand the vehicle performance, automotive business, and connect with customers at a deeper level to improve efficiency and brand loyalty.

About CIOReview
CIOReview constantly endeavors to identify “The Best” in a variety of areas important to tech business. Through nominations and consultations with industry leaders, our editors choose the best in different domains. Automotive Technology Special Edition is an annual listing of 20 Most Promising Automotive Technology Solution Providers in the U.S.

April 28th, 2015 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in company announcement

Today, the Handset; Tomorrow, the Automobile. The Present and the Future of the Ecosystem Approach.

[Using the example of Apple and Samsung]

Ecosystems, now more than ever, play an important role in company’s strategy and ability to drive consumer success. Businesses that construct rich ecosystems around their solutions enjoy greater profitability and stability, due to increased pricing power and consumer loyalty. Now consumers want their devices to work seamlessly together for better user experience. User profile control and management is a central enabler of an ecosystem strategy.

According to Q4 2014 smartphone sales figures, Apple made more money than all of its competitors combined, capturing 93% of the profit in the mobile device market. Samsung, a recent leading incumbent in the telecommunications industry, made 9% of the profit for the quarter. Numbers add up to over 100% as other players like HTC, LG, Motorola and Nokia are losing money from their mobile divisions.

Apple vs Samsung Profit Share

The figures above illustrate remarkable phenomenon in recent business history: a key player in the handset industry faces a continued profit share decline. Simultaneously, a company that had almost no presence in the smartphone market 8 years ago takes the lead, gobbling up the profit from a long-standing giant.

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Numerous large, once-successful businesses fail because of a lack of differentiation from competitors, and a failure to adapt to market shifts. The example from handset manufacturers, which needs to be applied to automobile makers as well, should lead us to think of crucial keys to business success. Here, ‘success’ refers to the ability of a company to create a sustainable platform-based ecosystem of complementary products and innovation around itself - Tweet That! In this case, the primary issue for Samsung has been its decision to go with an open platform approach in contrast to Apple’s closed platform and intense focus on ecosystem development.

Apple understood early that “software is eating the world” and that it is necessary to create a rich ecosystem around its products to increase the value for customers and grow business. Samsung, on the other hand has been mostly reliant on Android OS and continues to operate within an ecosystem that other vendors control (Facebook user ID, Google Maps for navigation, Google Play Store). However, Apple’s ecosystems is unmatched with such components as iCloud, iTunes, App Store, Apple Pay and AppleCare protection plans. Success factors of Apple’s iOS Ecosystem are:

Success Factors of Apple’s iOS Ecosystem

The growth of connected cars could cause a similar redistribution of profits among automakers and other companies that are trying to enter the automotive industry. If car manufacturers want to secure their business and remain the sole provider of revenue-generating services, they should create rich ecosystems around their products and focus on producing complete, end-to-end mobility solutions. Due to safety concerns, automakers have a good argument for implementing a walled garden approach to application development. The automakers’ market shares in the new environment are at risk if they are slow – and for the taking if they are fast.

Check out our website for the Connected Car building blocks and solutions:

March 17th, 2015 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in connected car, ecosystems

CloudMade Appoints Kristian Kroyer as Creative Director

Menlo Park, CA – CloudMade announced today that Kristian Kroyer has joined the company as Creative Director. Kristian will lead all aspects of CloudMade’s product design and drive the creative team and creative processes.

Kristian brings a wealth of experience in the design industry with 17 years of design strategy, brand strategy and creative leadership. He is a designer and strategist with an entrepreneurial mindset working at the intersection of design, technology and lifestyle where they meet in an innovative and valuable user experience. He co-founded a number of design driven companies and consultancies including Libratone, Eyegonomic and Designit Munich, and has worked with a variety of global consumer brands including LG, Bosch, Siemens, Hitachi, Philips and JBL. Kristian also currently serves as Creative Director at Cogniance, a global organization that helps innovators co-create technology products.

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Kristian is Danish and holds a Master of Arts degree in Industrial Design from Aarhus School of Architecture. Scandinavian design is well-known for its high standards, sustainability, user focus and user involvement. This mindset is vital, considering the strong demand for knowledge of and experience with intuitive and user-centered design in many areas of the automotive industry, especially in the connected car field.

Kristian comments: “I am excited to join the company that has a shared vision of doing innovative work. I look forward to working with the team, the technology, and the vision. I am fascinated by the continual development and evolution of the connected car space and am happy to bring my experience and perspective to the industry.”

Juha Christensen, CEO at CloudMade said: “Kristian’s track record speaks for itself. His incredible experience, energy and strong focus on innovation has made him a key asset to the CloudMade family. We got an experienced designer, a thought leader, a lover of technology and a 360-thinker, all in one. We have a group of design talent waiting to be led. With Kristian on board, we have that leader.”

Kristian has won numerous creative awards, including CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award, iF Product Award, Good Design Award, Red Dot Award and IDSA Award.

February 26th, 2015 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in company announcement

Connected Car: Privacy Concerns and Digital Ethics

In a world where data privacy is a concern and the Connected Car business is rapidly becoming the next battleground for market share within the automotive market, a debate about privacy concerns and digital ethics is becoming extremely important.

A recent study of McKinsey shows that car buyers are broadly concerned about data privacy and the possibility of hacking when it comes to car connectivity. 37% of respondents are reluctant to use connected car services because they want to keep their privacy, 54% said they are afraid that people can hack into their connected car and manipulate it.

Cars are now undergoing a rapid transformation. They are becoming information hubs on wheels that generate, store and analyze huge amounts of data. The connectivity features in cars potentially give automakers access to private data such as places previously visited, routes and destinations, and more personally, the driver’s location (home-/workplace), family information and other sensitive data. Used properly, such data can be used for purposes that bring long-lasting benefits to drivers by delivering them personalized, driver-centric and context-aware driving experiences.

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The massive growth in the amount of data generated raises questions related to privacy, confidentiality, ownership, transparency and security. While working with sensitive private data, OEMs have to identify and enforce appropriate rules about data collection, analysis and retention.

The more car manufacturers use private data for purposes that are beyond their original intent, the greater the chances that privacy issues will arise.

To protect private data, car manufacturers will need to consider:

  • Data ownership. Data should be used primarily for the driver’s own benefit. Car owners need to have control over the information the connected car learns about them and also have the ability to manage the flow of their private data, including the possibility to delete all or part of it.
  • Data storage. When it comes to storing data, cloud storage provides a lot of advantages as drivers can access data from anywhere, keep their information synched across cars, devices and applications or build collaborative datasets. However, drivers should be informed that their personal data is stored in the cloud, know whether it is encrypted, who can decrypt it and for what reason.
  • Data transparency. Sensitive data requires transparency. For private data to work in ethical terms, drivers need to have a transparent view of how their data is being used or sold. While co-operating with insurance companies and other third party companies, OEMs should get an allowance of car owners before sharing the private information and offer distinct benefits for sharing it. People will gladly enabled automakers to know their private data if they give them value back.
  • Data security. As cars get more connected and increase in user-friendliness, the risk of car hack or thief is growing, raising a new problem of data loss incidents. Not keeping the personal data secure can lead to the loss of private data and even to identity theft. OEMs need to work out algorithms on how to secure private data and vehicles so that they cannot be hacked.

December 9th, 2014 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in context-aware car, self-learning car

Power of Prediction: Developing Context-Aware Cars

The connected car revolution is gearing up, transforming a conveyance that gets you from point A to point B into a powerful personalized device that keeps you seamlessly connected from any location and at any time and predicts your wants and needs along the way.

An altogether new type of car will soon hit our streets: Cars that connect with consumers’ digital lives. Cars that get better and better the more they are driven. Cars that become increasingly intelligent as they learn and adapt to the users’ personality over time. These cars will recommend likely destinations, maneuvers or routes based on the user’s previous actions and current situation. Like a good butler, they will anticipate the driver’s needs, including making recommendations for places to visit along the route.

Car manufacturers have become good at gathering and storing data. Now it’s all about leveraging this wealth of data and making use of it. To develop personalized, contextually relevant applications and meet next generation customer expectations, OEMs have to put data into the overall context of driving and making it intelligent. Clearly, data and intelligence are not the same thing. Automakers need to work out algorithms that reduce noise as they define and extract truly valuable information.

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Data gathered by the Connected Car has limited value if not combined with context – Tweet That!

Raw data is not actionable or useful, but it does become useful by adding context. In order to accurately summarize and represent the data that has been collected, layers of driver-dependent context, or personalization, should be applied. These in turn feeds the user experiences that drivers see and feel when driving the vehicle. Contextualization and personalization is the key to transforming data into real information and delivering personalized context-aware experiences and superior user experiences. With a contextual understanding of the driver, the car can offer a huge choice of applications that anticipate the driver’s wants and needs and thus make the overall experience of driving the vehicle more interesting, safer and more compelling. To master contextualization, demographic, historical and contextual data has to be analyzed:

  • Contextual data refers not only to geo-location but also to road conditions caused by traffic, weather, time of day/week/year or other factors
  • Historical data will contain a person’s visited places, prior routes and actions.

CloudMade is devoted to bringing contextual relevance to drivers. Our products are designed to give both drivers and OEMs actionable insights, thus creating a better experience for drivers and generating significant business insights for OEMs. CloudMade understands the context of the driver, using machine learning against a multitude of content sources like traffic, current and predicted weather, news, events, POIs and more. Cars with CloudMade’s technology are smarter and feel particularly personal to their driver.

Learn more about CloudMade’s context awareness engine: Predictive Learning System

November 12th, 2014 - Posted by Olga Pogrebniak in for OEMs

Tech Talk Video with CloudMade’s CTO

In this short video, CloudMade’s CTO, Jim Brown, talks about CloudMade’s technologies and how they are used to create better user experiences in automotive, outdoors, fitness and wearable products.

The technologies Jim talked about can be found here:

  • Hybrid – aggregation, sync and management of location content
  • Mapsafe  – cloud-based personal data and preference storage, sync, access and backup
  • Micromap - a compressed, routable, searchable geodata format
  • UMDb – a tool chain that imports data from numerous formats into Micromap

To learn more about CloudMade’s technologies and for a demonstration of their capabilities, get in touch.

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October 7th, 2013 - Posted by Nick Black in for OEMs, geodata, products, talks, technologies

Single Line Search in Navigation

CloudMade’s On-the-Go Search

We’re re-shaping search-on-the-go at CloudMade, making search faster, easier and more relevant while in the car read on to find out more

In this post we look at how CloudMade’s On-Dash and In-Dash platforms use our Hybrid Data and Mapsafe technologies to let users search through point of interest data from many different providers and see the results represented as a single item.  For some real-world examples of this in action, check out Magellan’s SmartGPS product that lets users search through Yelp, Foursquare and TomTom data from a single interface.

Global Search

Users want access to a rich world of location information from a single search interface.  After all, Google lets us search the entire content of the web from a single interface, so why should we need to go into separate ”apps” when searching for a place to stop for lunch?

When the user searches for “Pizza”, search results are shown, sorted by distance, from different providers on a single screen.  In this example you can see results that appear both in Yelp and Foursquare, results that only appear in Yelp and results that only appear in TomTom data – indicated by the icons at the far right of each returned result.


CloudMade’s Mapsafe technology provides social context to search results, in this case associating each place with check-ins, reviews and posts made by the user’s friends on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

Disambiguated Results

The next screens show how the user is able to view the details associated with the results.  Different data providers have different attributes and strengths.  Yelp for example includes a 1-5 star rating, Foursquare data is typically updated the most frequently, Tom-Tom often has the most accurate positional data.

CloudMade’s Hybrid Data technology handles a process of disambiguation which takes unique results from three (or more) datasets, for example a pizza place in Yelp, Foursquare and TeleAtlas and understands through a process of fuzzy matching that the three separate entities in-fact refer to the same real-world location and presents a single, disambiguated result to the user.  This gives you the best of all worlds: the user gets the latest, richest information from sources like Yelp and Foursquare whilst you can rely on the positional accuracy of a provider like TeleAtlas.


A note on merging and disambiguation – at no point does CloudMade’s platform merge results together.  The different databases (Yelp, Foursquare and TomTom in this case) are kept as separate databases with the user being able to search from a single interface, see all results on a single page and quickly filter through different providers.

Live Results

Where devices have an internet connection, through a Bluetooth tether for example, live results from an online search provider like Google Places can be fed into the search results.


The capabilities of CloudMade’s On-Dash and In-Dash platforms to handle large volumes of rapidly changing geo-data from a vast number of different sources and make the geo-data available to OEMs through a set of cross platform APIs opens up a new range of use cases and possibilities for device OEMs to create vibrant, exciting search experiences.  Some of the new possibilities include:

- Global search across a huge number of different datasets

- Including photos of locations, products, menus in search results

- Including user generated reviews and ratings in search results

- Integrating sources from small, niche providers that may cover one vertical in particular metros but not offer full regional coverage

- Integrating sources that may lack accurate positional data

Contact CloudMade to learn more about the capabilities of our On-Dash and In-Dash platforms.

May 7th, 2013 - Posted by Nick Black in for OEMs, geodata, products, technologies

Directions Magazine: How CloudMade is Shaping the Future of Location Based Services

After we announced the latest version of the CloudMade’s On-Dash platform last month, Directions Magazine caught up with CloudMade founder and VP Product, Nick Black, to ask him a few questions.  You can read the full article here.

April 3rd, 2013 - Posted by Anastasiya Sheveleva in for OEMs, interviews, news

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