Wabco Holdings Inc, the leading global supplier of braking control systems and other advanced technologies that improve the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Valeo, the automotive technology leader.
Within the scope of this agreement, the parties intend to develop sensor technologies helping pave the way for Valeo to supply Wabco with advanced short and mid-range sensors, including 77GHz radar and solid-state LiDAR, to develop and industrialise the next generation of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), among the key building blocks for vehicle autonomy.
Wabco and Valeo bring complementary competencies to this strategic agreement. While Valeo is a technology leader for ADAS sensors in the automotive industry, specifically the passenger car segment, Wabco is a leader in commercial vehicle ADAS, covering trucks, buses and trailers.
This agreement will enable Valeo to expand its presence in the commercial vehicle industry benefiting from the access, domain expertise and customer relationships that WABCO has cultivated. For Wabco, this would mean exclusive access to best-in-class short and mid-range ADAS sensors that will help advance its ADAS roadmap toward autonomous driving. Also, given the high-volumes of sensor demand in the passenger car segment, Wabco says it will benefit from the economies of scale.
“Differentiated sensor technology is an essential pillar in Wabco’s ADAS innovation roadmap towards increasing levels of vehicle automation, and this Memorandum of Understanding with Valeo is a very meaningful step to further envelop commercial vehicles with a 360° cocoon of safety,” said Jorge Solis, president, Wabco Truck, Bus and Car Original Equipment Manufacturers Division. “Combined with our advanced braking, steering and stability control systems, these best-in-class sensor technologies will enable us to bring differentiated solutions to advance autonomous driving,” said Solis.
“Valeo's pioneering Radar and LiDAR technologies, already in production for the passenger cars industry to fulfill Euro NCAP standards and enable level 3 autonomy, will play a crucial role to reduce fatalities and deliver unique value to fleet customers. That is why we are pleased to join forces with Wabco to distribute the latest ADAS technologies to the commercial vehicles market, reinforcing its global strategy to bring enhanced safety and autonomous driving capability to a large scale adoption,” said Marc Vrecko, President, Comfort and Driving Assistance Business Group at Valeo.
The first market application using Valeo’s sensing technologies will be Wabco’s OnCityALERT, an urban turning driver assistance solution. OnCityALERT will utilise Valeo’s 77GHz radar technology to constantly monitor blind-spots on the passenger side of the vehicle – even in low visibility conditions.
The system warns about cyclists and pedestrians potentially crossing the predicted driving path, prompting the driver to take corrective action. On average, traffic accidents involving heavy trucks in the European community result in about 7,200 fatalities and over 100,000 injuries each year. Twenty-three percent of all traffic-related severe injuries are unprotected road users and of that number, 20 percent of accidents occur during a turning maneuvre to the nearside.
“OnCityALERT marks the entry point to Wabco’s OnCity suite to help protect cyclists and pedestrians in one of the most dangerous urban driving situations for commercial vehicles,” said Philipp Helmich, vice- president, Vehicle Dynamics and Control at Wabco. “The OnCity suite will provide scalable performance levels from warning to autonomous intervention and is a key building block for autonomous driving,” Helmich added.
The OnCityALERT system is designed as a robust one-box solution that will be easily adaptable to a wide range of truck and bus platforms. It can be installed at the factory and will also be available in an easy-to-install retrofit kit. This system is also fully integrated with Wabco’s modular, scalable ADAS portfolio. The system aims to help commercial vehicle manufacturers meet the anticipated Vulnerable Road User legislation that is expected to come into force in the European Union over the next few years.