Open platform

Growing relationships with consumer electronics firms and opening up software development will help

The CES show has become a blue-ribbonevent for the automotive industry, with more suppliers and OEMs attending every year. It’s no longer just about the latest developments in traditional consumer electronics, but has become a showcase for in-cabin technologies, too.

More importantly for firms, it’s an opportunity to not only grasp the latest trends in consumer electronics, but also discuss how those technologies can filter into a vehicle’s cockpit. For suppliers such as Visteon, this is a core reason for placing emphasis on CES.

Visteon’s chief executive, Sachin Lawande, says: “All the major OEMs, suppliers, purchasing executives, engineering heads of organisations, are here. So it's an effective use of people's time. In a couple of days, you can meet with virtually all the key people that you'd like to. It’s one big automotive party.”

But, as difficult as it may be to pin those people down in day-to-day business, Lawande also wants Visteon to cast its net wider, helping to link consumer with automotive electronics.

“It’s a great venue to meet with Tier Two and other sub-suppliers,” he says. “It’s an opportunity for us to engage with start-ups, and with private equity and investment companies that are investing in early-stage start-ups that might be relevant to what we do.”

That opportunity was highlighted this year by one avenue Visteon wants to develop – night-vision technology. The firm used the attendees at CES to find partners. “It’s an important area of investigation for us, and we came here to meet a start-up that’s doing stuff in that area. We now have plans to collaborate and bring out a product,” says Lawande.

Trends in consumer electronics are pushing Visteon and firms like it to develop technologies that wouldn’t traditionally have been used in automotive applications, such as different types of display.

tags: April 2016 Connectivity