Maria Anhalt is CEO at Elektrobit, an award-winning and visionary global vendor of embedded and connected software products and services for the automotive industry. Maria leads an international team focused on providing carmakers with software that transforms mobility, drives sustainability, and enables a more interactive and intuitive driving experience. She is one of the thought leaders behind the software-driven transformation of the automotive industry.
The future of vehicles is software-defined, and visionary carmakers are investing in partnerships and technologies that enable them to build the complex software systems necessary for their next-generation vehicles. To this end, Elektrobit has found a unique niche. Under the leadership of Maria Anhalt—who became CEO in 2021—Elektrobit has been collaborating closely with carmakers, both established and startups, as well as technology partners and suppliers to bring their visions for the cars of the future to life.
Following decades of leading software efforts at companies like HP, Maria brought software expertise that helped transform corporate data centers to the automotive industry just as it was entering an era of dramatic change. She started with a simple mantra that was foreign to automotive: “Software First.”
Until recently, developing vehicles revolved around hardware components—think braking systems and powertrains—typically sourced by carmakers from suppliers as components. If software was needed, it was usually added after the fact.
Today, the reverse is true. Software is redefining mobility…and doing so much quicker than the industry envisioned. To bring EVs and autonomous and connected vehicles to life, carmakers are on a challenging quest to build a common software platform for their lines of vehicles, and Maria and Elektrobit are leading the charge to support these efforts.
With this goal in mind, Maria pivoted the company to focus on collaborations to help carmakers fast-track their next-generation vehicles. One example is Elektrobit's partnership with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which is using Elektrobit software and services for its next-generation EVA Continuum electrical architecture that will be in JLR's full line of vehicles in 2024.
Maria and Elektrobit believe that partnerships, collaboration, and open source are crucial to the foundation of the software-defined vehicle. To this end, she has been leading efforts in collaborative development including involvement in organizations like Eclipse SDV and COVESA.
Another example is Elektrobit's multi-year collaboration with Sony, providing software and integration services that enable the unique in-vehicle experience of the Sony Honda Mobility (SHM) AFEELA.
Under Maria's leadership, since 2021, Elektrobit has grown by approximately 25%, and a quarter of new hires have been women. Maria's accolades include the Automotive News 2022 All-Star Award for Software Innovation and Technology Innovators' Top 20 CEOs 2022 in Automotive Technology. She belongs to the Top 50 Women in the Automotive Industry.
2023 has been the “year of the software-defined vehicle,” and Maria Anhalt has been its most passionate evangelist.