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Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown

March 9, 2017
by Glen De Vos, Delphi's chief technology officer

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an explorer, like Ponce de Leon. I was fascinated by the possibilities of exploring the unknown. I would imagine me and my Dad, an engineer for Boeing and fellow explorer, going on adventures around the world, discovering exciting artifacts and relics of ancient times.

Engineering is a lot like that – only instead of researching the past, we imagine and invent possibilities for the future. Using science as our map, our quest is to develop never-before-seen technologies and solutions, to make the world a better place.

There is no other place I would rather be exploring and uncovering future tech than at Delphi, a company that has always done just that – imagining and inventing new technologies aimed at making the world safer, greener and more connected. 

And now, as I become Delphi’s chief technology officer, my goal is to try and fill the incredibly large shoes left by the master of exploration, Jeff Owens, whose remarkable career spanned many industry firsts, including putting the first computer in a car to the first radar in a car. Recently, we worked together to engineer and execute the first automated coast-to-coast drive in the US, followed by conducting the most complex automated driving demonstration-ever-with our partner Mobileye at CES in Las Vegas this past January.

I will always be grateful to Jeff for his mentorship, but also for articulating our technology roadmap and innovation to the world. I call him our “Chief Story Teller” because he is gifted at breaking down incredibly complex engineering theories into digestible information that everyone can understand.

That’s why I’ve started this blog. I hope to be able to – or at least try and do what Jeff did so ably – discuss relevant, timely and impactful topics about science, engineering and this collision course between the traditional automotive industry and the world of software and technology. It’s a truly fascinating time to be in this business because the changes are coming at us at a pace we’ve never seen before. I do feel like Ponce de Leon, getting to explore the unknown world along with an incredible team of more than 20,000 Delphi technologists around the globe.

Delphi is positioned perfectly in this new world – at the intersection of the automotive and software industries. We ship more computers than Dell and HP combined. We ship 30 billion lines of code daily – soon to increase to 200 billion. Your car’s computing and processing power will exponentially grow, enabled by two miles of a data transmission system – Moore’s law is now in your car. 

And that’s the key – we also know your car – inside and out. It’s one thing to write code and create an app; it’s an entirely different, much more difficult task to make that software what we call, automotive grade.

What does that mean? It means that, unlike your phone, your car can’t shut down because it gets too hot, or too cold. It must work in all weather extremes, in all climates, on rough, pothole ridden roads (like the ones where I live in Detroit), in the dark or bright sunlight. And that is where we shine. We know how to validate and test for issues that you never knew might exist. And we partner with car manufacturers and the software and technology giants to bridge that gap.

And while we are working on safety, we are also creating ways to help reduce emissions and increase connectivity; cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity to vehicles talking to each other, to you and the world around it – we call it V2E (vehicle to everything).

So join me on this exploration; this journey. There is no shortage of possibilities in the future and there is a lot to talk about before we get there. 
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