Five Qs: Valeo’s Francoise Colpron on Intelligent Transportation Technology

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The 2014 Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress is under way in Detroit this week, with several companies showing off technologies that take intelligent transportation “from concept to reality.” Among them will be Valeo, an automotive supplier headquartered in Paris. Francoise Colpron, president of the company’s North American operation in Troy, spoke with DBusiness Daily News via email about what conference attendees can expect from Valeo’s demonstrations at Cobo Center and on Belle Isle.

1. DDN: What kinds of technology will Valeo highlight this week?

FC: At Cobo Center, the Valeo 360Vue Surround Megapixel Camera System will be on display. This innovation provides (drivers with) a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle’s surroundings during low-speed maneuvers, which improves driver safety and comfort.

We are also displaying the Valeo InBlue Virtual Key at our Cobo booth. This smartphone-based virtual key allows drivers to access and start their vehicles remotely, making car sharing easier and more secure.

2. DDN: How does the 360Vue system work?

FC: It uses cameras and an image processing software to display an aerial, high-definition, color view of the vehicle on the dashboard navigation screen. It was created to help a driver identify pedestrians and objects surrounding the vehicle.

In everyday use, the system is ideal for detecting small children, especially in larger, higher-profile vehicles that may make it difficult to see everything in front of and behind the vehicle. In essence, the 360Vue system can provide improved awareness of the driver’s surroundings. 

3. DDN: What exhibits do you have planned for Belle Isle?

FC: We are demonstrating our Connected Automated Valet Parking innovation, which enables a driver to leave the car at the entrance of the parking lot and use a smartphone app to communicate with the vehicle, sending it to park in a fully autonomous mode.

4. DDN: How long before it’s available to consumers?

FC: Innovation and technology are very often one step ahead of regulations. Today, OEMs, public institutions, suppliers, and other stakeholders are working together to determine the right rules and regulations to create the safest environment to implement autonomous functions.

5. DDN: What motivates the kinds of technologies that are developed at Valeo?

FC: Valeo’s primary technology developments are designed to improve driver experiences and enhance energy efficiency, with a focus on reducing a vehicle’s carbon footprint. Between 2012 and 2015, 75 percent of Valeo’s growth will come from CO2 emission reduction products, systems, and solutions.

Engine downsizing, vehicle electrification, and energy consumption reduction are three key areas of the company’s research and development strategy to reduce vehicle emissions. By improving energy efficiency, Valeo technologies help to optimize a vehicle’s energy performance.

For more information about the conference, which runs through Thursday, visit itsworldcongress.org

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