August 15, 2017

Bumps and Promises for Automated Driving             
By Timothy Yerdon, Head of Global Marketing and Communications





If you’re navigating the future course of the automotive industry, you’re likely to find insight to help you steer at the annual Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) in Traverse City, Michigan. This event consistently has provided a solid perspective and vision of where the global automotive industry is headed. Increasingly, that course leads toward automated driving, a shift that is filled with curves, bumps and promise.

It’s not surprising that more than 1,000 people from across the industry attended the MBS conference a few weeks ago. Executives from OEMs and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers, financial analysts from Wall Street, various industry analysts and automotive media participated in sessions that largely reflected three mega-themes for the industry: automated driving, vehicle electrification, and automotive regulation.

What will the technologies be?

The most widely discussed topic was automated driving and all its ramifications. One prominent financial analyst summarized the road ahead by saying he’s not fixated on what production volumes will be for automated driving. He’s more interested now in what will be the technologies for automated driving that will hit the market sooner and ultimately support fully autonomous vehicles. No one really knows when automated driving will achieve its goals and who will make money at it. This analyst suggested that, instead of focusing on the vehicle, OEMs look at the companies developing vehicle computing platforms, sensors and software. The value will be in the companies that can deliver those advanced technologies. These technologies will embed themselves in more conventional cars and trucks and eventually dovetail into fully automated vehicles.

An un-electrifying prospect for electrification

The second major theme was the continued interest in the electrification of vehicles. Much of the industry’s conversation has centered on pure electric, battery-powered vehicles with no internal combustion engines. Prospects are, however, that even in 2025 only 4 to 6 percent of the overall vehicle market will be fully electric. On a global scale, that’s a lot of cars and trucks, but it’s still a very small proportion of total production. Consumer preferences, legislative hurdles and costs for both automakers and vehicle buyers will combine to keep electric-car volumes low, so companies in the traditional powertrain business will need to reinvent themselves or face major business challenges. 

Standards to drive automated vehicles globally

The final theme follows inevitably from the others: regulation. What regulations will really drive the industry as automated and electric vehicles flow into the marketplace? We will need to develop global standards, as we have with current vehicles, so that the industry doesn’t find itself engineering varying components and systems for different geographies. No one will tolerate curtailing automated mode when their self-driving car crosses a state line because of a regulation. The most important consideration is not to add more complexity atop a technology that already is complex. All parties will need to negotiate and reach agreements to move legislation through more quickly than they have in the past, or risk holding back the autonomous wave.

Michigan as an Innovation Champ

MBS participants also learned why Michigan is such an important focal point for all these developments. A 2017 innovation scorecard from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) designated Michigan as one of its 10 “Innovation Champion” states. Among nearly a dozen reasons the CTA said Michigan earned this recognition were its business-friendly tax policies, a nearly 388,000-person technology workforce, the absence of laws restricting self-driving cars, and the state business community’s high level of investment in venture capital and research and development. Michigan ranks eighth in the nation for combined venture capital investments per capita and R&D per capita.

As I noted during a panel discussion at MBS on the Car of Tomorrow, those of us based in Michigan need to sustain these advantages, by continuing to be innovation- and technology-friendly. While views on how to best navigate the course of the auto industry may vary, ensuring that Michigan remains the hub for developing America’s mobility in the future is something on which just about everyone at MBS could agree.

Tim Yerdon is head of global marketing and communications for Visteon. Leveraging more than 20 years of experience in engineering and thought leadership in innovation, Yerdon fosters collaborative efforts with technology/industry partners and government agencies to advance growth beyond traditional automotive electronics into the future of connected and automated vehicles.

Yerdon serves on the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA™) Board of Industry Leaders and is vice-chair of CTA’s Vehicle Technology Division Board. He also chairs the MICHauto/Detroit Regional Chamber talent committee, and serves on the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Industry Advisory Board.


June 28, 2017



Current sensor data fusion architectures: Visteon’s approach

Sensor fusion is a critical requirement in creating an autonomous vehicle’s “brain,” ensuring it can make intelligent, accurate and timely decisions based on behaviors of other traffic participants. Sensor fusion takes the inputs of different sensors and sensor types and uses the combined information to perceive the environment more accurately. This results in better and safer decisions than independent systems can achieve.

An increasingly complex range of on-board smart sensors like cameras, radar, ultrasonic, infrared, LiDAR and connected sensors for V2X communications, Wi-Fi, 5G, GPS and telematics provides both real-time and rich data that the connected car must be able to process to create a picture of the environment around the car at any moment in time.

To achieve fully autonomous driving – SAE Level 4/5 – it is essential to make judicious use of this sensor data, which is only possible with multi-sensor data fusion. By fusing sensor data, the vehicle forms a more accurate and reliable view of its environment and will have intelligent situational awareness. Sensor data fusion acts as a human brain, providing the car with a complete and accurate picture of its surroundings. 

The techniques that surround multi-sensor data fusion make up a very big and complex topic. Data processing techniques that associate, aggregate and integrate data from different sources help the system to build knowledge about certain events and environments, which is not possible using individual sensors separately. 

There are many ways to fuse the sensor data, and multi-sensor data fusion can be classified in two categories: Homogeneous and heterogeneous sensor data fusion. In homogeneous sensor fusion, sensor data of the same type are fused together, whereas in heterogeneous sensor fusion, data from different sensors are fused together based on the time of arrival of data (synchronization of data based on time stamps).

Multi-sensor data fusion can be performed at four different processing levels, according to the stage at which the fusion takes place: signal, object, feature, or decision level.



Currently all automotive players, be they automakers or Tier 1 suppliers, are extensively using feature-level fusion and decision-level fusion for multi-sensor data fusion. The benefit of this approach is the simplification of the sensor data fusion system as the smart sensors provide the list of features the system needs to make decisions. Almost all Level 2 autonomous systems are now making use of this approach.

But to achieve a Level 4/5 autonomous system, feature level fusion is not sufficient due to its limited sense of environment and loss of contextual information. The application of artificial intelligence (AI) will also have limitations when working on individual sensor data to obtain a feature list because of inherent flaws in this fusion approach.

Visteon is currently working on a signal-based multi-sensor data fusion approach. In this centralized architecture, sensor data from different sources are fused using AI techniques at a raw signal level. The major advantage of this approach is the availability of complete environmental information to the system which, with the help of machine learning techniques, will make informed decisions right from the start of a journey and, subsequently, be able to safely direct the car.

The safe and successful introduction of autonomous driving depends on a robust solution to sensor data fusion – creating a “brain” for the car’s automated body that is able to process huge data sets, apply AI and rapidly transmit information to and from its environment. Visteon’s approach is based on integrated and centralized multi-sensor fusion technology that is built on fault-tolerant hardware and incorporates AI for the most accurate levels of object detection and classification. 

As a lead software engineer, Anshul is involved in the development of SmartCore™ and autonomous driving domain controller platforms. He is focused on self-driving car technologies and the effect of the Internet of Things on the auto industry. Anshul is based in Karlsruhe, Germany. 

May 17, 2017


The Hidden Value in Internships
By Joslyn R. Holmes, Human Resources Generalist

Gaining job experience through an internship should be seen as more than just a resume builder. It can often be the first step in your career. That is, if you choose your internship and invest in it wisely.

Internships can be competitive and for good reason. An internship allows you to become more familiar with the day-to-day knowledge, skills and requirements of your career focus and area. Particularly if this is your first internship, you’ll gain an understanding of the practical application of your education outside of the classroom.

One critical and sometimes overlooked benefit of an internship is the networking opportunities it creates. Being able to access, talk with, collaborate and work side-by-side with colleagues gives you a great opportunity to learn not only about the job itself, but also where your skills and career can take you.

If you feel strongly that your internship is a good fit for you – and your career path – internships are a natural way to get your foot in the door for future employment.

We’re told that Visteon’s internship program is valued because we focus on providing our interns hands-on career experience and growth. Engineering and other technical interns are given the opportunity to work on projects that are being developed for application in vehicles, such as infotainment and instrument clusters.

Part of the benefit of working on production projects is the chance to learn about initiatives and tools that may not be covered by your college curriculum. Different software, materials, applications and processes are all part of the knowledge interns can gain.

Real-world projects give Visteon interns visibility to more areas than some full-time employees – many times our interns have the opportunity to meet with our customers (automotive manufacturers) and get immediate feedback on their work. Our mentor program also provides access to senior managers to give greater opportunity for professional development outside of day-to-day responsibilities.

While it’s true that an internship can boost your resume – it does so much more. The benefits of an internship can be lifelong as you can establish relationships and develop good work habits that can continue throughout your career. Visteon takes pride in its internship program, and we work hard to ensure our interns are prepared to contribute to the growing field of vehicle electronics.

We welcome our 2017 summer interns. You are joining Visteon at an exciting time.  We hope that this is a valuable learning experience for you, and we are excited to incorporate your fresh ideas that will meet the changing needs of the automotive industry.

Learn more about Visteon’s internship program and tell us about yourself by visiting http://visteon.com/careers/.


Joslyn R. Holmes is a Human Resources professional proficient in multiple functional areas of Human Resources including: Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations and Training and Development. She holds a Master’s Degree and a Bachelor’s degree, both from Central Michigan University, in Human Resources Management. Joslyn brings over 10 years of in depth Human Resources knowledge to Visteon. She is based in Michigan at Grace Lake Corporate Center where she has responsibilities in Talent Acquisition and is currently the Intern Project Manager.