What Drives Her: Carolina Harris’ Career in Automotive Innovation & Technology

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Have you ever gotten into your car and wished there was an app for it?

Who wants to read a manual anymore, right? Feature Innovation Manager at Stellantis, Carolina Harris had that exact thought and co-created the app, Know & Go,” for the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX, the first FCA vehicle to feature it. And it was a success. 

Related: What Drives Her: Kathy Gilbert’s Success in a Male-Dominated Industry

It All Started with Two Women and a Pitch

It’s no surprise that the “Know & Go” app was a hit. Harris has over 25 years of experience in the automotive and manufacturing industries. Along with colleague Mimi Nguyen, Carolina Harris won FCA’s first ever, “Pitch Night,” an initiative of the company that allows its employees to develop new ideas. Their team competed against over 500 other presentations that night. The app went from a big idea to market-ready in less than three months. 

“We created the Know & Go app as a way for customers to interact with and learn about their vehicles throughout their ownership lifecycle and personal experiences,” said Carolina Harris, Feature Innovation Manager – FCA, and co-creator of Know & Go.

Related: Buying a New Car? 9 Things You Need To Know–Right there on the Window Sticker

Carolina Harris

Screenshot: Lillie Morales

How “Know & Go” is Helpful to Consumers

The app was created with customers in mind and helping them solve the mystery of  understanding their new vehicles. Car owners can learn about their cars using their cell phone camera and augmented reality technology. Harris believes that when it comes to tech design and innovations, a customer’s lifestyle needs to be understood. And that’s the role she plays as an Innovation Manager at Stellantis. The “Know & Go” app is the perfect example of what Harris does. It teaches customers about their cars. 

The “Know & Go” app includes: 

  • Augmented reality (using your phone’s camera) discovery of features 
  • Self-discovery of features 
  • Push notifications of undiscovered features 
  • Feature overview and how-to videos 
  • Feature-specific owner’s manual pages 

Related: Tips for Buying a Car and Sticking to a Budget

Meet Carolina Harris: the mom, innovator, trailblazer

Carolina Harris

Photo courtesy of Carolina Harris

I had the opportunity to chat with Carolina Harris recently and found her to be very inspiring. The Mexico City native has a Degree in Industrial Engineering and Administration from the UPIICSA (Professional Unit Interdisciplinary Engineering and Social and Administrative Sciences) of the IPN (Instituto National Polytechnic) in Mexico. She’s Moved 3 assembly lines to Mexico City and launched the production of Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH). 

She’s also a HENAAC Luminary Award (National Awards and Achievements of Hispanic Engineers)

Harris shares that having learned the English language helped her very much throughout her career when it came to networking. She moved to Michigan to learn component design and development and was hired by Chrysler in January of 2000. Since starting her career at Chrysler, Harris has achieved the following: 

  • Launched the PT Cruiser in Mexico – Steering column
  • Release Engineer – Small Car Platform / Module suspension 
  • Study Engineer – Innovation and Advanced Concepts
  • Infotainment Engineer / HMI – Fiat 500e
  • Program Manager Specialist – JL Program
  • Planning Team – Head of Element Innovation

She continues to break glass ceilings at Stellantis. Harris is not only a smart businesswoman but her unstoppable attitude is what keeps her going. She credits her mother and aunts for influencing her from a young age. She also credits the art and culture of her heritage, Mexico, that inspires her. Carolina Harris is a proud Latina. “Latinas, we add spice- language, culture, family,” she says. 

When asked about what it’s like to work at Stellantis, Harris shares that the company has networks to help women grow. “They give us support, tools. It’s a great company to work for,” says Harris. 

Harris advises women to go for what they want in their careers. “Women have superpowers. Not only do we know what men know but we have to demand a seat at the table. And help other women as well.”

Lillie Morales is an entrepreneur mama- writer, photographer, and an Editor at AGirlsGuidetoCars.com. She loves fast, pretty cars- ones... More about Lillie Morales