40. Stephan Durach

BMW

It takes three to five years to put new tech features in cars, so "based on projected estimates, we would have Friendster in our cars right now," jokes Stephan Durach, head of the BMW Technology Office, the automaker's skunk works. His new creation, called Connected, eliminates that lag time by enabling BMW and Mini Cooper owners to download an app to their iPhones, sync their phones with their car, and access driver-friendly apps such as Pandora. "We want technology that maximizes our flexibility," he says. "With this interface, we can react fast."

Process

Watch a video of the MINI Connected app and dashboard features.

Inspiration

Your last private place today is your car. When technology helps you define your specific place where you can listen to your music, get the information you want, and access whatever you like, in a car-specific suitable way--it's really exciting.

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