The 68th Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA 2019) will be open to the public from September 12 to 22. The event is no longer being promoted as the annual forum for the global automotive industry, but as the leading platform for unveiling the very latest developments in mobility. The shift in semantics and scope is a reflection of the trends currently disrupting both the industry and society as a whole. Powertrain electrification, autonomous vehicles and digital mobility are transforming the automotive industry today more than ever before. And Valeo innovations are at the epicenter of all three revolutions.
The biggest French patent filer with the European Patent Office (EPO), Valeo holds the number one or number two position worldwide in each of its businesses. Valeo is the world number one in powertrain system electrification, which is helping to reduce CO2 emissions. Valeo is also the leader in lighting and wiper systems, as well as in driving assistance systems, which comprise all the sensors that act as the car’s eyes and ears. As for thermal systems for engines, battery cooling and passenger comfort, Valeo ranks number two worldwide.
The revolutions shaping mobility are already a tangible reality for Valeo. For example, a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) – a type of laser scanner known in the automotive industry as the sensor of the future – has been marketed by Valeo since 2017. In fact, it’s the only LiDAR sensor in the world that meets automotive industry standards, is series-produced and is already installed in cars that are now on the road. IAA 2019 in Frankfurt provides the perfect opportunity to showcase the Valeo innovations gradually coming to market. All of these innovations help to bring vehicles in line with new uses, by making them safer, more efficient, better for the environment and people’s health, and more closely adapted to each user’s needs.
Electrical systems play an increasingly important role in the automotive industry. Valeo is working, for example, on innovative 48V systems that help reduce energy consumption. With their affordable costs, these solutions make hybrid and electric vehicles more widely accessible. In Frankfurt, Valeo is presenting a plug-in, family hybrid vehicle prototype equipped with a complete Valeo electrical system, including electric motor, onboard charger and DC/DC converter. The vehicle provides the best of both worlds; it can drive 40 km in all-electric mode at speeds of up to 70 km/h in urban environments and switch to the internal combustion engine for longer distances. At IAA 2019, Valeo is once again demonstrating how electric vehicles can be integrated in city power grids.
The Frankfurt Motor Show is also an opportunity for Valeo to unveil its latest advances in battery thermal management systems, a key challenge for the electric vehicle segment. Vehicle batteries must be kept at the right temperature when charging, in order to safeguard their lifespan and maintain the vehicle’s value.
Valeo’s goal of making its cutting-edge technologies more widely accessible also applies to the autonomous driving segment. Valeo offers the automotive industry’s largest range of sensors, comprising ultrasonic sensors, cameras, radars and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) systems, and the onboard artificial intelligence system which interprets the data collected to enable the vehicle to operate in its environment. It also develops extremely advanced cleaning systems to ensure that these sensors work reliably in all weather conditions and are never soiled. Valeo also draws on its unique expertise in vehicle visibility, acquired through its extensive experience in lighting and wiper systems.
With behaviors evolving and digital tools granting access to new ways of getting around, Valeo is developing technologies that promote the rise of intelligent mobility. One example is Valeo VoyageXR, an innovation presented in Frankfurt that reflects the growing trend of experiencesharing. With this new Valeo innovation, someone outside the vehicle can become a virtual passenger, turning an isolated, individualistic journey into a shared, immersive experience.
With over 2 billion euros or close to 13% of original equipment sales invested in Research and Development in 2018, innovation is at the heart of Valeo’s strategy. Valeo’s innovative technologies offer clear insights into what mobility will look like in the future. And given that some of the products and functions developed by Valeo are already being fitted in vehicles coming off the assembly line today, that future is very near.