One of the coolest things about CES is getting a chance to get a behind the scenes peek in to the automotive industry. Sure, all the big players are here like Ford, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors, but so too are the suppliers to these companies. Valeo is just such a company.
Valeo are responsible for the first ultrasonic parking sensors back in 1991. They have supplied park assist technology to more than 12 million cars and have sold over 25 million stop/start packages to manufacturers. They are leaders in autonomous vehicle sensor cleaning systems. Apparently, your fancy new self driving car will simply come to a stop if its array of sensors are not squeaky clean. Who knew!
Jacques Aschenbroich outlined the future for his company at CES this week with two main areas of focus; driver monitoring and affordable alternative fuel vehicles.
Signaling out the celebrity set with a none to subtle dig at Tesla, Aschenbroich hopes to see a widespread take up of alternative fuel vehicles with the major focus being on electric vehicles. No longer should EV cars only be for the wealthy. EV should be available for teachers and nurses who are balancing the need for mobility with low emissions. To support this mission, Valeo have produced a tiny two seater EV with a range of 100km at 100kph. Aimed primarily at the China market, Valeo have made clear that their purpose was not to join the car manufacturing circus, but rather show what is possible. They may also need to work on the name as it is currently known as the low-voltage (48V) all-electric vehicle prototype motorization system.
In regards to driver monitoring, Valeo want to move well beyond the flashing coffee cup reminding drivers to stop for a rest. Valeo sensors will monitor drivers for not only signs of fatigue but also their entire physiology, adjusting the cabin to suit individual needs. Valeo reminded us that in an EV car every bit of wasted cabin cooling or heating has an impact on range.