Valeo welcomed WAJ to its Mobility Tech Center for our April Members meeting. Valeo, not a household name, is a leading global automotive tech company. Valeo was created nearly 100 years ago has quite a presence worldwide. It is located in 33 countries with sales of $23 billion and 113k employees…40 of whom are based here in Silicon Valley. WAJ members were welcomed by Peter Groth who is the General Manager of the Mobility Tech Center. Peter introduced us to Daniel Benchetrite, North America Powertrain New Mobility Director, and David Hermina, Innovation & Collaboration Research Manager, who took turns with presentation duties.
The WAJ members had the opportunity to learn the details about specific Valeo automotive innovations and current developments. We started with a bit of background about the French company and its historical innovations. Valeo was founded in 1923 and started with making braking components. Over time, Valeo emerged as one of the world’s largest suppliers of thermal, lighting, and electrical systems. It is the creator of the ignition start/stop…love it or hate it, it’s contributed to fuel savings around the world. But Valeo still makes the best wiper blades in the world, bar none.
After the overview of Valeo’s history, we segued to Valeo’s Mobility Tech Centers focus on the three automotive revolutions:
Valeo’s Electrification development include 48v electric systems, transmission automation, and more efficient auxiliary systems.
Autonomous driving includes sensor development, creating intuitive controls and the connected car.
Used to manage fleets, parking and even air quality with dynamic real-time maps.
A couple of fascinating video demonstrations included: Drive 4U, rolling out autonomous vehicles on the streets of Paris and XtraVue Trailer, which stitches enough images together to enable a driver pulling a trailer to see right through a trailer to the road apparently, traffic and obstacles behind. Perhaps the most intriguing use of connectivity demonstrated was XR. XR stitched together the images from the external camera to enable someone to ride along virtually. Indeed, creative use of cameras…check out this video, I’m sure that counts for the carpool lane (if it’s virtual).
Another little known fact is that the Valeo Tech Center pioneered the first coast-to-coast fully autonomous hands-free drive of the United States in 2016 with the Valeo Hands-Off Tour. Using Valeo technology Cruise4U, and driving over 13,000 miles in 45 days, it was a real breakthrough in the quest for fully autonomous vehicles.
Valeo showed that they were press savvy by saving the food and beverages until after the presentation…no one left early. The meeting concluded with food, cheer and the opportunity to explore the Valeo demo vehicles.
For more information and press related inquiries contact:
Stephan Koller, Director of Communications, Valeo North America.
Tel: +1 248 619 8377
Mobile: +1 248 890 5327