Mike Bell was appointed to the newly created position of global connected car director at Jaguar Land Rover in 2012 when interest was just starting to develop in the sector. Times have changed fast. Bell says Jaguar Land Rover aims to have all its new vehicles connected by the end of this year. He recently spoke with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Olive Keogh.
How long has Jaguar Land Rover been working on connected car technology?
About five years ago we started looking at levels of customer interest -- which were quite low at the time -- but we could see there was a demand coming. We set up a dedicated unit in 2012. The level of interest has really risen in the last couple of years in terms of the questions being asked in dealerships.
How will JLR roll out the technology?
Our aim is to have 100 percent of our vehicles connected by year-end. Every vehicle now being manufactured in the UK is connected so we have built-in telematics in all of our vehicles. It is an “opt in” technology so if you don’t want to use it you don’t have to. We expect the vast majority of our customers to take it up and to benefit from safety and security features. For example, emergency call (private in our case at the moment) and roadside assistance, where data is passed from the vehicle to the assistance provider to enable them to optimize the recovery.