“Please Explain
How It Works…”

Dr. David Voss
– Manager Product Experience –




How do I tie a tie? How do I bake a Sachertorte? And how do I switch out a car battery? Online video instructions, commonly known as ‘tutorials,’ are very popular, and cover all of these subjects – and more. Tutorials provide short and snappy answers to practically all everyday questions. Opel has now released the ‘That’s How It Works!’ video tutorial series to let interested parties know how to take full advantage of its clever infotainment systems – quickly and vividly, without requiring prior knowledge. The first batch of videos is up online: These brief clips cover the R 4.0 IntelliLink and Navi 900 IntelliLink systems. Additional videos are slated to follow. David Voss, Manager Product Experience, posted the tutorials online.

Opel Post: Why don’t classic operating instructions suffice anymore?

David Voss: The technology of today’s world, including the technology in our vehicles, is developing at rapid speeds. This allows us to offer better and better vehicle functions for our customers. However, we also have to ensure that our customers are capable of taking full advantage of these technologies. Video tutorials are a perfect way to explain these functions and show customers how to use individual applications, step by step.


What do customers expect from an infotainment system?

They don’t ‘just’ want to connect their smartphone to their car via Bluetooth and talk using the hands-free system. They also want to bring the apps they have on their smartphone – or their entire digital life – into the vehicle; for example, by using our Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies. And all they have to do to find out how that works is click a video…



David Voss began working at Opel as part of the Engineering department in 2010; more specifically, he worked on product development for infotainment systems. During this time, developers continually faced the same issue: “We were certain that there was an ideal way to operate certain functions. But we couldn’t prove it,” says Voss. In 2014, a function was created that would do just that, and David Voss was part of the process. The bioinformatics specialist had specialized in a relevant topic during his studies; namely, human machine interfaces. His doctoral thesis explored how technology could best support medical professionals in the operating room without distracting them. This area of research was highly applicable to his new work at Opel, as Voss says: “We offer customers connectivity in a vehicle. But the driver can’t be distracted from the true matter at hand; namely, driving.”

Who are the tutorials geared towards?

Our videos are becoming popular with a broader range of viewers than we initially expected. Alongside end customers, dealers and agents in the Opel call centers also use this new explanatory format. They watch the short films to learn about the latest developments, and, if necessary, they can also send the links to customers with the mere click of a mouse. Fleet managers can also refer their drivers to tutorials so that the latter can get to know the vehicles much better. I was very happy to learn that even driving schools want to use our videos for theoretical lessons on how to use our infotainment systems in their cars.


We carry out evaluations to test how our customers work with these systems.“


You and your team ensure that customers have positive experiences in terms of connectivity in their Opel. How do you do that, apart from through tutorials?

Through testing and observation. Thanks to Opel OnStar and our infotainment systems, Opel is a true champion in terms of connectivity. But how should customers use these systems to take full advantage of their benefits? We carry out evaluations to test how our customers work with these systems. For example, we have volunteers test out the functions of the R 4.0 IntelliLink while my team and I observe and gather notes. We then pass on recommended actions to the developers. That’s how we ensure that customers can fully benefit from the rapidly expanding possibilities that new technology has to offer.

Flexible Format

The ‘That’s How It Works!’ tutorials vividly explain the various different functions of the R 4.0 IntelliLink and Navi 900 IntelliLink infotainment systems. More than 15 additional videos for further systems are planned for release over the course of this year. The explanatory videos are available in German, English, Italian, Spanish, and French. Additional markets will use
versions with localized subtitles. The videos are available to view for free on the Opel website and YouTube. Instead of film sequences taken inside the cars, the films are based on screenshots. This has the advantage that new system functions can be integrated into the videos if necessary. Adaptations can also be made for other GM brands.

March 2017

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Text: Andrew Marshall, Photos: Opel