How My Team Is Helping to Transform the Automotive Landscape — From a Director

Sponsored by General Motors

Sri Peddada

Photo courtesy of General Motors.

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General Motors’ diverse workforce of 164,000 employees leverages their expansive experiences to build a better, safer and more equitable world.

In pursuit of this mission, Sri Peddada serves as the Director of Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) for Ultifi Platform Data Services at GM. Her team is responsible for developing frictionless data and connected solutions for end-to-end Ultifi platforms, which include vehicles, back-office servers, edge-computing platforms and remote devices.

“Connected vehicles have become vital enablers in the transformation of the automotive landscape from a traditional hardware to software as a service business,” Peddada notes. “Extracting uninterrupted high-quality data from a connected vehicle could provide a unique customer experience.”

The data Peddada’s team collects from vehicles could be used to build numerous predictive models, she explains. This includes anything from: 

  1. Advising drivers on safe alternate routes to bad roads or traffic conditions to

  2. Monitoring electrics and mechanicals and providing maintenance notifications to 

  3. Providing advanced safety and autonomous driving capability with the use of sensors and camera data.

Though she’s only been in her role for four months, Peddada has been with the company for over 11 years. And she’s among a large group of female leaders leading GM’s success! GM has been ranked the No. 1 company for Gender Equality by Equileap and is the first major industrial corporation to achieve a 50/50 gender split on their board of directors. And, at GM’s helm is the first female CEO of an automotive company. 

“Throughout my career at GM, I’ve had the opportunity to work on emerging technologies and build innovative solutions,” Peddada tells Fairygodboss of her personal experience with the company. “GM has a very inclusive culture. I’ve always had the opportunity to express my thoughts and ideas freely. I was always encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone, try new things and challenge the status quo.”

We caught up with Peddada to learn more about what she’s working on at GM, her leadership style and her advice for other women interested in a similar career. Here’s what she had to say.

What projects or programs are you currently working on? What about this type of work most excites you?

Currently, my team is developing data and connected solutions to provide applications with trusted and secure data that is easy to use and understand, as well as integrated across all Ultifi devices.

I am very excited to be part of the Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) organization as we continue to put the customer at the center of everything we do, and we get to contribute toward a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. 

The Ultifi Platform is a modern vehicle computing platform that is capable of integrating all advanced features like active safety, driving assistance systems, infotainment, connectivity, and vehicle motion. This new platform shall seamlessly connect in-vehicle computing controls with cloud and edge computing resources. 

The SDV organization supports the definition, design, and development of continuously improving mobility services. Ultifi is a new vehicle intelligence platform that is expected to underpin all our future innovations across a wide range of technological advancements, including EVs and expanded automated driving.

What is something at work that you’re especially good at?

I have a hunger to thrive and succeed. I don’t wait for an opportunity, I create it. I strongly believe that every challenge can be solved, and I am not afraid to ask for help. This helps me create a very productive, collaborative and trusted working environment for myself and my team. 

What type of leader are you?

I am a democratic leader. My team works with me, not for me. I strongly believe in autonomous workplaces as they drive a high level of engagement and foster creativity and innovation.  

What do you think is most important to facilitate as a leader?

A leader should facilitate a psychologically safe and inclusive environment that encourages team members to voice their opinions without fear of being judged.

What advice do you have for women who are interested in a career in software at GM?

GM is one of the most inclusive companies. GM provides a great support system through numerous employee resource groups, which can help develop, or add to, your competencies. You can build a versatile career at GM. Several opportunities are available to hone your skills and expertise across more than one discipline, and you have the freedom to chart your own career path.  

You can kickstart your career surrounded by and learning from the best and brightest technologists at GM.

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