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MPG Panel Of Tech And Auto Experts To Discuss In-vehicle App Integration March 12

Consumers have come to expect a connected world, whether it be through social media, news, weather, directions or local searches on their smartphone apps. While this demand increases, many car companies have lagged on integrating this technology into dashboards for reasons such as safety, product cycles and government regulations. On March 12, the Motor Press Guild (MPG), the largest automotive media association in North America, will host an elite panel of experts from automotive and technology companies to discuss the future of in-vehicle app integration moderated by car technology expert Doug Newcomb, writer for MSN Autos and Wired Magazine.

The panelists will discuss the current state of the connected industry and its future, while introducing us to their own app developments. The discussion will also address the physical approach to integration – embedded in the head unit versus mobile syncing – the segmentation of apps across automaker platforms and the hot-button issue of distracted driving.

“We’re currently at the ground floor of in-dash apps, with the first-generation in only a handful of new cars,” Newcomb commented. “As the technology evolves and matures, we’ll find out which platforms consumers prefer – and which ones will set the standard. I’m looking forward to asking this panel of experts what we can expect in the future.”

Panelists include:
Michelle Avary, Director of Technology Strategy, HARMAN International Industries, Inc. – Avary leads and develops technology strategies for all of Harman’s business lines including automotive systems, professional audio and consumer audio. She is responsible for technology scouting, identifying trends, competitive intelligence and building partnerships in the Silicon Valley. Avary is a subject matter expert in automotive telematics, is a patent holder and a registered lobbyist.

Henry Bzeih, Head of Kia’s North American Infotainment Technology & Business Unit – Bzeih is responsible for leading Kia’s North American Infotainment Technology & Business planning organization. He is also responsible for the end-to-end Connected Car organization which oversees the development and execution of all connected services as well as management of the overall connected services delivery network.

Jim Pisz, Corporate Manager, North American Business Strategy for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. – Pisz leads the Alternative Fuels team, Business Innovation/Partnership team and a team that focuses on Government Affairs associated with new technologies at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. The current focus of Pisz’s work includes projects related to vehicle electrification, hydrogen infrastructure, car sharing, autonomous driving vehicles and other technologies being developed at Toyota and in the innovation labs of 21st century companies located within the U.S.

Andrew Poliack, Director, Automotive Business Development for QNX – Poliack is the director of business development for QNX Software Systems’ automotive market segment. He is a founding member of multiple consortia, speaks frequently at automotive telematics events and advises analysts on trends and issues in the automotive market. He holds patents for a framework that consolidates access to multimedia devices, and for social in-vehicle navigation via images encoded with location data. He also helped define and launch the QNX CAR application platform, which significantly reduces the upfront engineering needed to develop connected in-vehicle systems.

Wayne Ward, Vice President of Emerging Solutions for Sprint Nextel – Ward leads the company’s Emerging Solutions Group, with responsibility for developing M2M (machine-to-machine) and connected vehicle solutions. Emerging Solutions utilizes the network, systems and open-device expertise of Sprint Nextel and its strategic partners to deliver innovative integrated product applications to business and consumer markets. These include Sprint Velocity for Vehicle Manufacturers and Usage-based Insurance Solutions, as well as solutions for fleet management, retail, smart grid, asset tracking and security.

Who: Motor Press Guild
What: March Luncheon
When: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 11:30 a.m.
Where: The Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

The Los Angeles-based Motor Press Guild (MPG) is the largest automotive media association in North America with more than 800 members. This non-profit trade guild is dedicated to promoting professionalism in automotive journalism through education and information exchange. Members include journalists and analysts from print, broadcast and online outlets as well as public relations representatives, consumer groups and governmental bodies tied to the automotive industry. The organization hosts regular meetings featuring key figureheads in the auto industry and is widely recognized for its annual Dean Batchelor Award program and annual industry MPG Track Day.

For more information on the Motor Press Guild, please visit, the MPG Facebook page or Twitter @MotorPressGuild. For media inquiries please contact MPG publicity chair Brendan Flynn at 310-444-1850 or

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