Valeo produced its 100 millionth camera at its Tuam site in Ireland
Valeo produced its 100 millionth automotive proximity camera, which gives cars rear and peripheral vision, at its Tuam site in Ireland (around 850 employees). The first camera rolled off Irish production lines in 2002. Eight years later, in 2010, one million units were delivered to customers. In 2013, the ten millionth camera milestone was reached, and in 2015, that figure doubled to 20 million. Between 2015 and 2018, production was multiplied by 30 compared to the first eight years, with 30 million cameras manufactured in three years, for a total of 50 million. The four years between 2018 and 2022 saw total production double and cross the 100 million camera mark. The Tuam site is at the heart of this industrial success, to which three other Valeo plants around the world have contributed (one in Europe, one in North America, one in Asia).
Tánaiste and Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, says“Congratulations to the entire Valeo team for this very important milestone at the company’s Tuam site. Since 2007, Valeo has created approximately 600 jobs in Galway. Reaching one hundred million cameras is a remarkable achievement and a testament to the expertise and talent of each member of staff. I’m really happy to hear that the company plans to do more, to further increase camera production over the next four years and wish the team continued success.
“From a small, innovative and dynamic company capable of being the leading supplier of cameras to car manufacturers in Europe in the early 2000s, the Tuam site, acquired by Valeo in 2007, has transformed into a global giant in the field of vehicle vision. said Marc Vrecko, President of Comfort and Driving Assistance Systems at Valeo. “And things are about to kick into high gear. We now expect to produce over 20 million cameras per year and ship as many units globally to our automotive customers over the next four years as we have done in the past 15, which means 100 million more cameras by 2026.”
These 100 million cameras would not have been possible if Valeo had not achieved three revolutions. The first was in the area of industrial performance, where mass production made high-tech systems widely available across the world. Then came the safety and comfort revolution, which made it possible to see what was previously invisible and thus ensure safer and easier mobility. The latest was the intelligence revolution, when artificial intelligence algorithms and associated software became essential components of Valeo’s vision systems, enabling new capabilities such as vision through the body and functions of autonomous parking and driving.
Valeo has a large Research and Development center integrated into the Tuam site with a wide range of skills in Product and Process Engineering in Mechatronics, Systems & Software, as well as in Testing and Validation. Over 70% of its staff are engineers with coding expertise who have developed innovative features for the automotive industry. An example is image fusion technology, which creates a single snapshot from multiple video sources. This is how today, when the drivers of many cars around the world shift into reverse, they can see their vehicle as if it were filmed from above by a drone – even if such a drone is not ‘does not exist. The stream of images filmed, recorded and processed by artificial intelligence provides enough data for cars to reach level 2+ of automation. In 2022, a major global Valeo customer will release a vehicle equipped with this smart camera. It will have advanced assistance and automation features, both for parking (low-speed manoeuvres) and for driving.
Today, Valeo’s cameras are distinguished by their miniaturization, their precision (providing a sharp image at temperatures ranging from -40°C to +85°C with a resolution of up to 3 megapixels) and their precision (manufacturing to the micrometer), as well as by their computing power, which has taken on as much importance as optics. All in all, this makes Valeo, and its Tuam site, a world leader in automotive vision. It is, in some respects, the application of mathematician Isaac Newton’s quote from February 1675: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”.
Valeo is already the world leader in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), equipping one in three new cars worldwide with its technologies, and intends to accelerate further in this area. Its cameras play an essential role in this acceleration. The Group announced this objective in February 2022 with the launch of its Move Up plan, the value creation strategy at the heart of the four megatrends that are disrupting mobility (electrification, ADAS, reinventing the interior experience and lighting).