Reinforcing our innovation ecosystem is one of our top 2018 priorities following the January launch of our new TechCenter in Silicon Valley.
We’re excited to be at the heart of open collaboration that’s connecting the automotive industry to start-ups, universities and tech entrepreneurs to explore the car of the future.
To highlight this, we opened the doors of our new TechCenter for two days in January inviting in all those around us who are engaged on shaping the future of mobility. We were delighted to share the smart systems and personalized user experience that we’ve created in our cockpit of the future. An adaptive instrument panel, advanced safety and comfort features, sensors in the seat for monitoring and predicting health and wellness, on-board connected interfaces. And ready for serial production!
Over the past six years we’ve been growing our activity in Silicon Valley. From initial technology scouting, a team of pioneers developing and supporting the cockpit of the future for new and disruptive car makers such as Tesla and Byton has expanded into a team of 50 people working at our new Faurecia innovation platform. That’s because Silicon Valley has become the main and dynamic hub for everyone – from OEMs, technology providers, developers to systems integrators – working on bringing concepts from prototype to reality.
Here, there’s plenty of opportunity to find technology with great potential, especially in the fields of HMI and a high-tech user experience. But the trick is in adapting it to the automotive environment which imposes many constraints. Our role is to identify promising technologies and demonstrate to our customers how to integrate them into the car. For example, in a recent prototype, we’ve been showing one OEM how, by integrating the acoustics technology of a great start-up company into the seat, we can create an individualized and immersive sound experience where a person can make calls, listen to music or receive alerts without disturbing other occupants. Acoustics is a key contributor to enhancing the comfort and well-being of drivers and passengers.
Creating value for our customers and enhancing end-user experience requires agility and innovation to achieve a faster time to market. It’s driving us to work more collaboratively with a range of partners – sharing our technical expertise and automotive knowledge, but also learning from them. In Silicon Valley start-ups move fast, and we’re adapting our ways of working to match the speed of innovation and decision-making. That means small and proactive ive teams working autonomously on projects in start-up mode, coordinating inputs from many different technical experts.
2018 is going to be a great adventure combining the three strengths of our team here in Silicon Valley – creativity, engineering expertise and a business mindset to make great technology ideas into real solutions to enhance our mobility tomorrow.
Head of Media Relations