Stephan Durach

Head BMW Technology Office

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."