GM hires Apple VP Mike Abbott to advance their In-Vehicle Ultifi Software Platform, avoiding CarPlay
Last week Ford Motor Company's CEO James Farley Jr. says his company will Support CarPlay due to simple market demand. GM, on the other hand recently announced it would not offer consumers the phone projection systems Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on future EVs. Instead, it's developed a system with Google that GM says is more integrated with the vehicle. Ironically, GM hired a former high-ranking executive at Apple to run a new software organization at the automaker starting on May 22.
Mike Abbott, a former VP of engineering for Apple's cloud services division, led a team that developed infrastructure for all of the company's cloud-based services including iCloud, iMessage, mail and account security. He also was a partner at investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, focusing on the mobile device and cloud computing areas.
GM and other automakers are looking to software as a major revenue source in the future as fleet and other buyers seek vehicle diagnostic systems, partially automated driving software and other services.
In 2021, GM introduced Ultifi, a new software program rolling out this year that allows customers to personalize their vehicles and interact with them remotely. GM intends to use the Ultifi system as another revenue stream by connecting with third-party developers to use the platform for their applications.
The Detroit automaker expects its annual software and services revenue could reach the $20-$25 billion by 2030.
GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra stated in her press release about hiring Abbott that "We have entered the next phase of our technology driven transformation focused on rapidly scaling new EV models and our Ultifi software platform, which will drive faster innovation and enable new and exciting customer experiences. Mike's experience as a founder and entrepreneur coupled with his proven track record creating and delivering some of the market's most compelling software-defined solutions for consumers and companies make him an excellent fit at GM.”
Abbott said in a statement he's "a product person at heart, so as the transformation of transportation quickly accelerates, I know that software is the catalyst for redefining experiences for consumers and enterprises like never before.“
He added that "GM is playing a pivotal role in this shift and I’m excited to join the team and bring my experience in software to bear to not only take advantage of the massive opportunities that lay ahead for the company but to help change the world." For more, read GM's full press release.