Do you ever watch the credits at the end of a movie? When you see all those names and titles for jobs that might not mean much to those outside the business, it’s evidence that filmmaking is a complex undertaking and a highly collaborative effort.
Kind of like cars.
Those thoughts came to mind when Volvo announced its new S60. The list of electrical and electronic features in the vehicle seemed to go on and on – pedestrian detection with full auto brake, rollover protection, driver alert control, blind spot information, lane departure warning, and myriad improvements to various safety systems.
Volvo’s announcement did not mention any of the suppliers that helped develop the S60, but to Volvo’s credit, the automaker allowed at least some suppliers to reveal themselves. As a result, we know that the Volvo S60 active safety includes a Delphi radar and vision system, consisting of a camera, vision control module, radar sensor, and sensor fusion algorithms. We also know that Delphi partnered with Mobileye on the vision processor and algorithms.
This gives – or allows– credit where credit is due, and I’d like to see more of it. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t see much of a downside to an automaker identifying suppliers once a design has been set. Sure, the business is competitive, but how many consumers will select one brand over another because of the 32-bit microcontrollers it contains?
After all, how many car buyers know that a vehicle contains 32-bit microcontrollers, or even what microcontrollers are? All most people know is that cars have a lot of electronic stuff in them and that electronic stuff might cause problems. What if consumers knew more about the benefits of electronic content in vehicles and knew more about the companies working to provide that content and ensure its reliability? Does anyone else see an opportunity?