Veoneer focuses on safety

When it comes to safe, comfortable and easier transport using autonomous vehicles, it’s all about being able to trust the product.

This is one area in which the car safety company Veoneer is investing all its energy.

“We have a huge focus on this – not just on fully autonomous vehicles but also on systems for driver support and active safety products,” explains Magnus Nygren, head of European development for Veoneer.

As new technology emerges, higher demands are also being placed on the components being supplied to the car industry. Basic mechanical components will always be needed but in Veoneer’s case the focus is on software.

“A quality approach and the evaluation criteria are of course the same – that’s the foundation of the work. Our focus is systems and software development, where we work with the major customers in the market to find solutions and create confidence in tomorrow’s transport solutions,” Magnus says.

“You can say that we develop software and hardware for various main components, such as camera, radar and ADAS ECUs, plus the systems work that’s needed to connect these components into a whole. We also cooperate closely with others, including with our part-owned partner Zenuity, to develop various systems solutions for our customers.” 

In general, car safety can be divided into two areas: passive and active. The former includes such things as seatbelts and airbags, which are designed to save the driver and passengers in an accident situation.

Veoneer works mainly with active safety, which is designed to ensure that an accident preferably never happens, but also with control units and sensors for airbags and seatbelt pretensioners. 

“Active safety and driver assistance will become an ever-greater part of total car safety. This places ever-higher demands on technology and reliability, but also means the emergence of more legislation and regulations, especially for fully autonomous vehicles,” Magnus says. 

Veoneer became an independent company on 1 April after being spun off from Autoliv. Its business includes sensors and software for active safety, advanced systems for driver assistance and self-driving cars, and high-tech brake control systems.

“Self-driving vehicles are divided into levels from 1 to 5, where 5 is fully autonomous,” Magnus says. “We work with all levels and it’s really exciting.” 

What does the timetable look like? When do you think we will see self-driving cars on our roads?

“That’s a good question. Development is happening very fast and there are vehicles operating in Gothenburg and other parts of the world in limited environments, but fully autonomous cars on a large scale are still some years away.”