March 29, 2018




SmartCore Hits the Road with a New Approach to Cockpit Displays
By Waheed Ahmed
Software Engineering Manager – SmartCore™ Chief Architect

Beginning this summer, vehicle cockpits around the world will become a lot more interesting. That’s when the first production vehicles from a German automaker will roll off the lot equipped with Visteon’s SmartCore technology.

In conventional automotive cockpits, technologies such as the instrument cluster, center stack, infotainment and telematics each are driven by a separate electronic control unit (ECU). SmartCore combines the functions of multiple ECUs into a single box, or domain controller, which ultimately may serve as the brains for every display function across the instrument panel and into passenger areas.

The SmartCore offerings will integrate the instrument cluster, a head-up display (HUD) and Visteon’s infotainment platform into a single domain controller. Visteon engineers already are working on integrating lighting, heating and air conditioning displays into near-future versions. By the early 2020s, SmartCore could be controlling telematics, advanced driver assistance system displays, augmented reality head-up displays, vehicle mirrors, surround-view cameras, driver monitoring and rear-seat entertainment — all from a single box. 

Integrating control of these functions on a single ECU reduces signal latency, eliminates excessive wiring and saves considerable weight. The hardware can be used more efficiently, eliminating the need to duplicate interfaces for memory, display and video in separate ECU boxes. With new approaches from chip designers, SmartCore can generate more computing power to drive an expanded number of functions.

Visteon has incorporated exceptional security within SmartCore™. Downloaded data needs to be signed and authorized by the car dealer. Hardware security walls are built to prevent suspicious applications from intruding into the secure portion of SmartCore™.


A new reality for autonomous driving 
SmartCore will play an important role in the transition to self-driving vehicles. When future cars are in fully autonomous mode, drivers will be able to take their hands and eyes off the road, shifting their focus to screens along the dash. They can view text, images and video there and interact with the screens, with all this functionality driven seamlessly by a SmartCore domain controller. SmartCore also will integrate input from cameras and other devices monitoring the environment outside the vehicle, so drivers and passengers can receive information about their surroundings.

In the future, augmented reality will be incorporated into the SmartCore-driven displays, presenting avatars of people, objects and virtual creations outside the car to the occupants inside. Imagine how all this integration could change your GPS display in an autonomous vehicle, adding detailed information about your destination, images of nearby attractions, audio and video. Your music player expands from showing an entertainer’s album-cover art to presenting a full-motion music video. Eventually, videoconferencing could be integrated into SmartCore, and passengers could play SmartCore-controlled games.

Additionally, SmartCore could make cars and trucks even more secure by enabling vehicle tracking, remote immobilization, remote assistance and security for shared vehicles.

With the first SmartCore-equipped vehicles about to hit the road, we’re embarking on an exciting new chapter in vehicle cockpit efficiency and integration. Watch this space closely – the story will continue to unfold as we approach the autonomous driving era. 

Waheed Ahmed oversees software architecture development of future domain controllers at Visteon. He is focused on next-generation automotive cockpits and their role in autonomous cars. Ahmed has proven leadership and R&D experience in software systems, spanning more than 15 years. Prior to joining Visteon, he worked in the semiconductor industry as an engineer, architect, and scientist. Ahmed earned his master’s degree in computer science from RWTH Aachen University in Germany. He has published six international peer-reviewed scientific papers, filed six U.S. patent applications and authored a white paper on the fundamentals of domain controllers.

December 4, 2017


Visteon Makes Its Mark at New Proving Ground for Autonomous Driving
An Ideal Setting to Ready Autonomous Cars for Realities of the Road   
By Upton Bowden, new technology management

If the world’s highways, local roads and city centers were all brand new with bright white lanes, sparkling signs, fresh concrete and protected pedestrian overpasses, most of us might be tooling around in autonomous cars and trucks by now.

But the real world has a way of deflating those expectations by populating cities and countrysides with potholes, confusing layers of repositioned lane markers, construction areas, broken-down vehicles, inconsistent entrance and exit ramps, and the occasional stray pedestrian chasing lost cargo.

The variety of situations that may confront an autonomous vehicle seems endless, but the automotive industry is tackling all of them, seeking to build algorithms that can manage any challenge that the vehicle encounters. To achieve this daunting goal, the algorithms and associated equipment must be tested in a realistic, flexible setting that can be monitored and controlled, so real highways and downtowns are not the best places to determine if an engineer’s latest software tweaks really do the job.

Fortunately, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the University of Michigan, Business Leaders for Michigan and Ann Arbor SPARK have joined to create the American Center for Mobility (ACM), a full proving ground for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure testing, validation and education. The remarkable facility is under construction at the Willow Run site near Ypsilanti, Michigan, with its first phase opening on Dec. 11.






500 acres of tunnels, roundabouts and potholes

Visteon is delighted to be the first Tier 1 automotive supplier to become an ACM partner, investing $5 million in this nationally designated proving ground, one of only 10 across the United States. This world-class, non-profit facility is specifically designed for developing, testing and creating standards for autonomous vehicle software and hardware, with roadways that mimic real-life situations and the obstacles they can present.

Stretching across more than 500 acres, ACM preserves a mile-and-a-half portion of M-12, with its potholes and worn lane markings. It adds triple-decker overpasses, bridges and a 2.5-mile, high-speed loop. Workers also are constructing a 700-foot curved tunnel, two double overpasses, intersections, roundabouts and a complex pedestrian zone. It even will offer an urban canyon, with movable glass and steel walls that generate reflections and potentially block wireless signals.

Computer vision algorithms should not always look at brand-new pavement, so ACM has lines with older faded paint. Indeed, ACM can make lane markings disappear and add construction barrels or put debris on the road along with stalled vehicles.

At ACM, virtually any type of driving environment can be custom-designed for testing by the industry. We can test autonomous driving in a simulated rainstorm, where glare from the road can interfere with sensors. We can turn off the lights in a tunnel to imitate a power failure. We even can create a snowstorm without needing to wait for January in Michigan.

An ideal environment for perfecting DriveCore™ technology

Situated just seven miles from Visteon’s headquarters, ACM will serve as an ongoing base for perfecting Visteon’s DriveCore™ technology, an integrated autonomous driving controller providing a scalable, failsafe platform that Integrates advanced driver assistance systems through levels 3 and 4 of autonomous driving.

Visteon’s first autonomous vehicle will be on site for ACM’s Dec. 11 opening, so our autonomous team can test hardware, software, sensors—the entire setup—while controlling surrounding vehicles to reproduce an amazing variety of traffic situations.

ACM will be a great site for proving edge-use cases for computer vision in autonomous driving—those unusual situations that defy ideal conditions.

We are confident that ACM will help us more quickly validate the performance and safety of systems we are developing. Our proximity will be a huge advantage, as team members no longer will need to drive across the country to find certain test-case environments. Also, as a founding partner, Visteon can book the ACM facility in advance and permanently occupy a garage on the grounds.

We believe that this strategic investment in ACM will accelerate the development of our products and demonstrate our long-term commitment to autonomous driving systems, as well as our ability to move quickly to test edge-use cases.

The American Center for Mobility is an ideal, unique venue for making possible the safe validation and self-certification of connected and autonomous vehicle technology – helping ensure autonomous cars will perform reliably and safely on those unpredictable “real-world” roads and highways.

Upton Bowden oversees new technology management in the Chief Technology Office at Visteon. He is primarily focused on technology and approaches that enable autonomous driving and other next-generation mobility solutions. Bowden earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Wayne State University. He holds 14 automotive electronics patents and serves on the board of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CTVA). 

September 6, 2017

Visteon – an Intern’s Point of View
By Courtney Schultz, Communications Intern




Internships are a great way to get a taste of the job field before graduation. Most academic programs require an internship to graduate; however, students usually don’t have time to commit to something more than part-time. Many of my peers in the public relations program at Eastern Michigan University chose internships that only required working 12-15 hours a week. But I didn’t want a cookie-cutter internship – I wanted something full-time where I could really immerse myself.

I wanted an experience.

After spending hours searching, I applied for a communications intern position at Visteon. I was intrigued to learn that Visteon is a Tier 1 automotive supplier and a technology company that is focused on cockpit electronics and autonomous driving. It sounded new and exciting to me.

I went through a two-step interview process – a phone interview followed by an in-person interview. I was especially nervous as this was my first-ever interview for my field of study. My nerves were put to rest during the in-person interview. Visteon had a casual atmosphere, open work environment, and I felt I really meshed with the people interviewing me. I left the interview hopeful, and later that day I was offered the communications intern position.

My tenure at Visteon began on May 8, and I didn’t know what to expect. I certainly never would have thought that I would truly immerse myself into the communications and marketing team. I have been incredibly fortunate to have supervisors who truly care about my growth and development in the communications field and who strive to foster an all-inclusive environment.

The summer has flown by in the blink of an eye, and these four months have been much more than an internship. I’ve had the opportunity to explore areas of communications and marketing that I previously didn’t consider “part of the job.” I’ve attended and participated in many meaningful events that have solidified my passion for community service and diversity.

The biggest project our team is undertaking this summer is the redesign of the company website, visteon.com. Over the years, Visteon has gone through a dynamic transformation. We’ve solidified our position as a technology leader. And our website needs to reflect this. From collaborating on site maps and graphics to drafting web copy and learning about workflows, I have been involved in every step of the website redesign process. And as a millennial, my input was not only requested, it was highly valued. We are working relentlessly to get the new site up and running soon; although I won’t be here for the launch, I’ll be on the lookout for the new site. I never would have imagined that I would be an integral part of such a big project.

This summer, I’ve also had the opportunity to host media. Last month, a reporter from Reuters, as well as a group of Chinese journalists, toured our facilities and interviewed our CEO. It was cool to see the feature videos and news articles that came out of those sessions that I helped coordinate.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding aspects of my position was the numerous opportunities for community service. From playing bingo with sick children at the Detroit Children’s Hospital to working with Life Remodeled to clear blight in a Detroit neighborhood – I loved being able to help those who needed it. I had the opportunity to promote these events with photos, video and employee news articles. It was fun to watch the number of “likes” for my work add up on the company intranet!

The internship program at Visteon is a wonderful experience. It’s clear that a lot of thought and effort goes into planning it. This summer, my fellow interns across various functions heard from a LinkedIn representative, attended a Detroit Tigers game, experienced the Ford Rouge factory tour, and met with many company executives and employees who shared valuable insights. 

While my time here is drawing to a close, the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met will remain in my memories forever. The opportunities I’ve had here are ones I will always look back on. I’ve grown tremendously since starting here in May.  I have gained confidence in my abilities and have learned so much.
For that, I’d like to thank every person at Visteon whom I’ve encountered who has truly made me feel a part of this company – not just an intern. It means so much to be truly valued and appreciated.

In the end, I got what I came for – that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Courtney Schultz is a recent graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She received her associate’s degree in liberal arts from Washtenaw Community College in 2015. Following her summer internship at Visteon based in Van Buren Township, Michigan, she is moving to the state of Washington, where she will pursue a career in communications and public relations.