Creating the future
Guillaume Devauchelle, Group Vice-President Innovation and Scientific Development at Valeo, emphasizes Valeo’s desire to play a proactive and cooperative role in shaping the future of driving as the impetus for innovation within the Group. “We don’t wait for the future, we make it. We propose solutions and we keep trying to improve on these solutions as society moves forward,” he points out.
Constantly evolving innovations
Valeo is dedicated to creating constantly evolving innovations such as Park4U®. The automated parking solution has grown from a semi-automated solution, which first equipped the Volkswagen Touran in 2007, to fully automated solutions such as Park4U® Remote and Valet Park4U® that Valeo offers today, which allow drivers to leave their car and park it remotely just using their smartphone.
Cutting consumption and emissions
Another of Valeo’s major inventions is the micro-hybrid Stop-Start system. By automatically shutting off the engine when the car has stopped moving and restarting it as soon as the driver releases the brake, the system reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions—a key objective for Valeo. “Valeo was the first to design the system that will become an essential component of almost all new cars by 2020. We’ve set the foundation for the future,” Guillaume Devauchelle points out.
An “open innovation” mindset
Valeo envisions a smarter world with smart cars powered by smart technology to tackle common problems such as traffic congestion and pollution. To this end, it has created a global “open innovation” strategy that brings together academic institutions, start-ups and entrepreneurs to develop innovations collectively. Valeo also looks for inspiration by encouraging all of its 100,900 employees—not just its R&D network—to think innovatively.
A winning strategy
The strategy has paid off. Valeo became the leading patent filer in France for the first time in 2016, with 994 patents filed in the country and 1,840 filed worldwide, taking its overall patent tally to 41,000. Beyond the sheer number of patents, Valeo also ranks among the best in the world in terms of reach and influence of its patents, and was named a Top 100 Global Innovator for the fourth time in 2016. By investing heavily in R&D, Valeo not only encourages innovative thinking internally and externally, but also provides the world with concrete technological solutions.