SAE Article on Tier 1s and their partners are driving autonomy’s technology business. Six execs talk about their roles.

Extracts from the Executives’ interviews below.

Glen DeVos, Chief Technology Officer, Delphi: “The traditional automotive ‘tiered’ supply structure is breaking apart a bit. It was very hardware-manufacturing-centric, stratified in many value-add steps beginning with raw materials. Much of the industry is still set up that way—we buy, source and procure in that model. But software doesn’t follow that model.”

Guillame Devauchelle, VP Innovation & Scientific Development, Valeo: “The role of R&D in the auto industry is changing. Some years ago it was all about engineering science, physics, mechanics and computing. Now it’s about adding value. For autonomous driving the car will not be autonomous 100% of the time. We need to understand when the driver is handed back control. So we need to understand biometrics, to monitor the driver.”

Kathy Winter, VP Driving Systems Group, Intel: “OEM’s choice of partners in this process is critical—who can you collaborate with to give a deep understanding, and optimization of, those software offerings, in addition to the traditional hardware? That key role may evolve over time but the basic job of integrating all the pieces doesn’t change. Tier 1s are truly expert at that, but as OEMs bring in more and more technologies and different pieces of software there may be a growing role for Tier 2s.”

Tim Shih, VP Design, Yanfeng Automotive: “Our research for the past two years has focused on two main categories: working and being productive or relaxation ,and how that is enabled in the future.”

Dr. Stefan Sommer, CEO ZF: “In 10 years I see software being ZF’s biggest need, in terms of quantitative engineering resources. It’s the fastest growing technology in this area. But on the mechanical basis we still need resources on the same level as today. In all of the mobility solutions, whether private or shared, we need the same quantity and quality of mechanical engineering in our company. And in the full-autonomy future, we’ll likely need more sophisticated mechanical solutions.”

Dr. Oliver Maiwald , Senior VP Powertrain Technology & Innovation, Continental: “For us in Powertrain, autonomous driving is a ‘use case.’ There are plenty of options to utilize ICEs on many levels of automated driving, but the future for us is electrification. A lidar sensor requires 3kW–that’s equal to 6 g of CO2. So the ADAS guys have to do their homework to reduce the power requirements. Powertrain has to ‘pay the bill’ for CO2 emissions! We are constantly looking at what impact the new systems’ power requirements have on the board and the E/E architecture.”