We recently caught up with AVL to discuss simulation trends, technology innovation and skills shortage in ADAS technologists. AVL will be on the exhibition floor at AutoSens in Brussels this September showcasing their organisation. They also shared with us what they are most looking forward to at AutoSens in 2018…
Simulation is becoming more and more important in testing and validation of sensors and vehicle systems, what trends do you see in terms of demand from the marketplace?
We see two main demands in simulation of ADAS. One is that customers require comprehensive tools including open & dynamic platforms to connect the simulations. Secondly the market needs to save time and costs and therefore asks for methodologies to be able to generate an extensive number of test cases with highest coverage rates, and for technologies that enable the correlation between virtual and real world in order to verify the simulation environment.
How do you manage innovation of new products and ideas, is it always customer-led?
Innovation orientation is one of AVL’s company values, determining the aim to bring new technologies significantly ahead. The proportion of company-financed research is 10% of the annual turn-over. AVL is very much aware, that investigations of future topics require a good balance between customer orientation, openness to out of the box thinking and innovation consistency even if a market breakthrough is not in sight. Additionally, our cooperation network with universities & research institutes complements fundamental research knowledge with industrial expertise. That all together brings an additional added value to the collaboration with our customers.
What can we, as an industry, learn from the accidents that have happened recently while testing autonomous vehicles on the road?
The automotive industry is fully aware about her responsibility and is putting highest efforts into the validation of automated and autonomous driving features before they reach end consumers. Though, the industry has the obligation to even more inform and train the end consumers extensively about the capabilities and limitations of current assisted driving features.
How do you feel industry can help resolve the shortage in skilled ADAS technologists?
I think due to the huge market growth on a global basis, the availability of well skilled ADAS technologists will remain one of the biggest challenges in the automotive industry over time. Beneath internal training programs, as we do them intensively, the close cooperation with universities and other education facilities is surely mandatory to motivate as many young people as possible to decide for the ADAS topic.
What do you do to stay ahead of your competitors?
AVL has a strong focus on perceived safety and comfort. Our unique technology provides objective & human centred criteria including an automated assessment tool. This differs us clearly from our competition, With this, we are able to perform ADAS optimization with on top better driving experience for end consumers. Moreover, we can perfectly benefit from our core powertrain business in the area of advanced predictive energy efficiency solutions.
What’s the most exciting technology change in industry you expect to see in 2018?
With ADAS & Connectivity we are in the centre of digitalisation. Assistance or automated driving features by means of digital software functions, significantly improve driver relief or (active) safety. But digitalisation is also growing faster in the development of ADAS than in traditional hardware oriented vehicle systems. Both aspects provide exciting new solutions which were not possible a couple of years ago.
AVL List recently won the Randstad Award 2018, a great accolade. What does that mean for you and your company?
The focus of all our activities is on our staff and the expectations they have of an attractive employer. We have always listened carefully, actively engaging with our colleagues’ suggestions, and putting these ideas into practice in cooperation with the works council. We at AVL see this award as confirmation of the numerous initiatives designed to increase staff satisfaction and strengthen the AVL brand on the labour market. In view of demographic developments and a growing lack of skilled workers, this allows us to gain a competitive edge. At the same time, this first place is above all an obligation to continue to evolve this approach. It will for sure help us, to recruit today’s and future industry experts in the field of ADAS.
What are you most looking forward to at AutoSens in 2018?
For me personally the AutoSens is a perfect place to meet and speak to many people from different ADAS areas. But also, I am looking forward to excellent speeches which hopefully will provide comprehensive new knowledge in a condensed way – and this is exactly what I am looking for.
Excluding your own, which technology or application are you most looking forward to learning about?
I am very curiously how fast AI, reinforced learning & cloud services will enter the vehicle (fulfilling all automotive standards regarding robustness, reliability, availability and security) and what kind of new capabilities they will bring to end consumers but also engineering service providers.