Talking to Otto Lilja, Design Manager at Pronode

Hello Otto, please tell us a bit about yourself.

I live with my family in Onsala right south of Gothenburg in a functional house, i.e. with ample space for hobbies and leisure.

My upbringing is coloured with entrepreneurial spirit as well as with the automotive world. My grandfather was a sheet metal fabricator at Volvo when the company had 60 employees. My father followed his footsteps and worked for Volvo most of his professional life, but running his own business with Volvo as his main customer. His production was right across the street where I grew up - and that has surely left a mark on me. My career so far, has always been guided by my drive for building businesses in combination with my passion for technology and engineering.

In my spare time, if I’m not with my family, I’m often found riding in the countryside on my motorcycle or in my vintage Fiat Topolino from 1950.

What are your thoughts on taking the helm at Pronode?

During my years in production and product development, I have worked with numerous technologies and innovations but none with the potential that I see in what we are doing in Pronode. I’m excited and I feel privileged to grow this company and for the contribution we can make to road safety and the well being of drivers and people in general.

Where do you see Pronode in three years?

Our objective and role is to support our customers in the integration of Neonode’s Proximity Sensing Technology in their products and solutions. Given the fantastic level of interest we get from all actors in the automotive field, big and small, I foresee a rapid growth for us. But we will grow with our customers and with a focus on their goals and ambitions. So growth, for me, is not only about size and numbers, it’s also about the role we play and the contribution we make to the success of the people who put their trust in us - our customers.

What’s the biggest challenge for Pronode and you to get there?

Pronode is a customer focused, product developing project organisation. So by far, the most important aspect, call it a challenge if you will, is the Pronode team. In other words, putting together the right team players. Getting aspects such as personality, competence, passion and group dynamics right. Even though it’s a high-tech area — it’s a people business first and foremost.

What is the most interesting trend or area within automotive technology today, in your mind?

Basically all functions in a car today are intelligent and based on electronics with related software. So, the sensors that collect and provide the in-data are critical for the level of performance of the application. And the development of sensor technology has accelerated even though we’ve just seen the beginning, I’m sure. At the same time the automotive industry is the toughest and most cost conscious sector in the world. This environment has far-reaching demands on functionality, performance, precision, sustainability and cost efficiency. So, it’s my conviction that the Neonode “Proximity Sensing Technology” and the platforms and products we at Pronode develop, are right in the middle of the most interesting area of automotive development. But I might just be a bit partial, ha ha!

Finally, do you have any personal motto or saying that guides you?

Actually, I have three that come to mind!

  1. Focus on what you’re doing - it will give you time to lose yourself in the things that give you positive energy.
  2. Use your buffer time in the end!
  3. If you keep things in order now you won’t have to clean up later - and that saves time!
Thank you Otto, nice talking to you!

Likewise! And I do like to talk about what we can do for our customers so
give me a call or drop me a mail if you want to get in touch. And that goes for anyone!