CTO Blog: Addressing the megatrends of a safer, greener and more connected world at CES 2019

Posted By
Glen De Vos
Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Aptiv
The following is an opinion editorial provided by Glen De Vos, Aptiv’s  senior vice president, chief technology officer and president, Mobility & Services Group.

Anyone that has traveled to Las Vegas in early January for the Consumer Electronics Show knows three things: (1) you will geek out over the amazing technologies that are unveiled at the show; (2) much of what you see may never make it into the world we live in, and (3) 200,000 extra people in Las Vegas means you can expect to test your patience and your time on a taxi line each and every day.

This year, Aptiv is looking to change points 2 & 3 - one ride and one experience at a time. But we won’t forget about the geek-factor. It’s part of our DNA at Aptiv. 

So, while we love showcasing our latest breakthrough innovations and talking about what the future of mobility will look like, we're also very focused on what it needs to be successfully commercialized. How do we bring value to our customers, how do we solve their problems today? Because the only way to improve people’s lives is to make it real.

With that in mind - first things first. I invite anyone in Las Vegas to hail an autonomous ride with the Lyft app. Through our partnership with Lyft, riders could be selected to ride in one of Aptiv’s self-driving cars. That’s right, you could start your tech experience in the back seat of the first commercial autonomous vehicle service open to the general public. It’s currently the largest fleet of commercially operated self-driving vehicles on the road today. And has been operating for almost a year. The Aptiv team is helping to not only drive mobility forward, but to learn from this fleet and the 50,000+ customers who are giving us their real-time feedback. CES 2019 will only add to this rich data to help inform what’s next.

As we utilize this technology on the road today, we also recognize that the rate of change in the transportation industry is occurring at an unprecedented pace and is only going to accelerate. But we know that by solving today’s problems through real-world applications (like our operation in Las Vegas), we will not only keep up, but stay ahead to address those challenges in the future. 

This is a unique opportunity for us to build on our heritage and advanced solutions portfolio – one we’ve been building upon for 100 years – to provide new features and solutions to solve real problems. And we are the only one to deliver this because of our foundation in architecture solutions, our expertise in systems integration and a comprehensive advanced technology portfolio. It is important to me that Aptiv has all of the right elements to address and meet those needs and to be poised to capitalize on these opportunities as mobility changes.

At CES, we will not only be looking at the technologies and geek-worthy applications, but also how they are addressing the megatrends of a safer, greener and more connected world. Starting with our Smart Vehicle Architecture – the brain and nervous system – we will deliver on scalable solutions today and applications for tomorrow. Aptiv at CES will focus on what moves us, and ultimately what will move you.

As for the future, one of the first questions I always get is when will all of this be widely available both commercially and privately. I know there will be much hype at CES, but I also know that there is still a lot of work to be done. And we have more lessons to learn from what we have out there today. However, in 2021/2022, we will see commercial deployments start to scale up. Knowing this is just around the corner, we are leveraging the technologies we have today to drive more near term deployments. For example, we are taking technologies from our Level Four systems and incorporating some of those elements into a Level Three solution of today. 

Think about it… An extra half second of warning can help to mitigate 60 percent of accidents on the road today. There is tremendous benefit in using future technologies to bring more value to our customers and give them some differentiating features that they can offer today. 

So back to how we are changing the CES experience. It is not just what is out there in the future - as exciting as that is. It is about experiencing how these technologies can be applied today, solving real problems and not just developing technology for technology sake. And, of course, it is about experiencing this technology and avoiding that painfully long taxi line.