Creating technologies and products in line with the market while anticipating demand and leading through innovation: these are the fundamental principles of Valeo’s research and development (R&D) strategy.
Reflecting drivers’ expectations, Valeo is focusing its efforts on reducing CO2 emissions and is a pioneer in “intuitive driving”, which combines the connected vehicle, autonomous driving and the man-machine interface, making them accessible to all. Innovation is at the heart of Valeo’s strategy and is one of the key factors behind the Group's success, with new products and systems representing a third of the order intake.
Valeo R&D (Figures at end 2016)
Towards innovative and sustainable mobility
The goal of our engineers is to create technologies that support mobility while respecting the environment and saving energy, safely.
The search for solutions that reduce vehicle fuel consumption is the fundamental priority for Valeo’s R&D teams. This is achieved both through the continuous improvement of all existing products (weight gains, energy efficiency improvement, etc.), but above all through new groundbreaking approaches, resulting in innovations that bring very significant fuel consumption benefits.
Valeo’s Hybrid4All system is the result of the drive to find the optimal balance between price and performance in order to bring hybrid solutions within everyone’s reach. It is suitable for all types of vehicles, particularly those in the entry-level ranges (A, B and C segments).
“Hybrid4All” can generate a fuel reduction of over 15% and can halve the cost per gram of CO2 saved.
Valeo was also the first automotive supplier to offer its customers a range of electric superchargers, which improve the dynamic response of smaller engines at low revolutions. When coupled with a Valeo energy recovery system, electric superchargers can be used to create a cost-competitive hybrid solution that delivers fuel savings of 15% to 20% in the standard European driving cycle. Less intrusive in the powertrain architecture, the system can be implemented rapidly and at a lower cost on new and existing vehicles.
Valeo is also developing research into new, more intuitive automatic driving solutions. Park4U® Remote is a fully automatic parking assistance system that parks a vehicle without any help from the driver. It can be activated from inside the vehicle or outside the vehicle using a smart phone. The driver may remain inside the vehicle, without touching the pedals or the wheel, or can leave the car and start the maneuver using his or her smartphone.
Listening to consumers
Consumer demands and expectations vary according to country and context. To target its product development most effectively, the Group carries out consumer surveys, allowing it to match drivers’ needs as closely as possible and to offer our automaker partners ever more innovative concepts. Such surveys strengthen the Group’s technological lead and boost its strategy of differentiation in a highly competitive market.
Working together on a common research project
It is through an intimate knowledge of consumers and automakers’ requirements that we define our technological development programs, applying this across all our product lines in the form of more than 300 in-house research projects.
With the aim of accessing skills, expertise and innovation from outside the Group, we also work on joint research projects with academics and innovative small and medium-sized companies. Today, we are involved in more than 60 joint research projects around the world. Innovations such as Park4U®, Hybrid4All came about through such projects.
Building our expertise on scientific foundations
In addition to joint research projects with third parties, Valeo also works with more than 50 PhD students, providing training for them while they pursue a specific line of research that provides the Group with in-depth scientific knowledge and insight on a particular issue. They are overseen by Valeo’s R&D experts, resulting in numerous scientific and specialist publications in the automotive domain.