Rivian Automotive Inc.’s head of software made a surprise appearance on the EV maker’s Tuesday call with analysts, promising upgrades ranging from adaptive tracking of battery range to “drone mode” operation using augmented reality.
(Bloomberg) — Rivian Automotive Inc.’s head of software made a surprise appearance on the EV maker’s Tuesday call with analysts, promising upgrades ranging from adaptive tracking of battery range to “drone mode” operation using augmented reality.
“We believe that our software capabilities are a structural differentiator that will only grow in importance as electric vehicles continue to increase in complexity,” said Wassym Bensaid, senior vice president of software development.
A veteran of Intel Corp. who joined Rivian in November 2019, Bensaid, 46, and his team have used software to smooth production at the company’s Normal, Illinois plant, helping Rivian boost output and expectations for this year.
“Over here, I’ve actually been called the Chief Reddit Officer, given my interactions with customers on the Rivian Sub-Reddit,” Bensaid said shortly after his introduction by founder and Chief Executive Officer RJ Scaringe.
Rivian has made 22 major software updates to its vehicles since launch at the end of 2021, Bensaid said, adding features like Bird’s Eye View, Camp Mode and snow mode.
“We own the software stack and control nearly every single computer in the vehicle,” he said.
Read More: Rivian Sees Ongoing Losses as It Boosts EV Production Plans
Bensaid spoke after Rivian told investors it will build about 52,000 vehicles in 2023, up from its previous goal of 50,000. The company makes a pair of consumer vehicles and a battery-electric delivery van for Amazon.com Inc., its biggest shareholder.
Scaringe also talked up the importance of software and electronics. They will be central to the company’s next-generation vehicle called R2.
“I would say that’s among the most important things to own in looking at what a structurally cost-advantaged vehicle manufacturer will look like in the world of today,” he said.
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