Visteon | General

Celebrating National Coming Out Day

By Kelvin Elvidge, Advanced Quality Engineer, Health and Safety

Your heart rate goes up. You begin to sweat and your hands get cold and clammy. Then you feel nauseous and strangely out of place. You’re in a staff meeting and your manager has just announced that there will be a holiday party Saturday night for all department employees and their significant others.  

Your coworkers have heard you mention the name Kelly several times, but you’ve never explained that Kelly was a guy, not a girl. I guess it’s one of the advantages of having a significant other whose name can be either gender. 

But now you have to figure out how to best handle this. Walking in and surprising everyone with the fact that you have a same-sex partner, just to see jaws drop, may not be the best scenario. Not going or making up a lame excuse to miss the party also doesn’t seem appropriate. So in your next 1-on-1 meeting with your manager, you let him know that Kelly is a guy, not a girl. 

This is how coming out at work went for me. It was stressful and daunting at the time, but I’ve come a long way since then.

Today, I am president of Straight Allies and Gay Employees (SAGE), a Visteon employee resource group. And today, on National Coming Out Day, I’m not just “out,” but I’m educating my fellow employees on what it is to be LGBTQ in the workforce.             

For the first time in Visteon history, we will be raising a pride flag outside our world headquarters in Van Buren Township, Michigan. By flying the pride flag, we’re going beyond an equal employment policy and showing employees that we have an inclusive and supportive workplace. We’re showing employees that they don’t have to hide their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression at work.  

There is never a right way, right time or right place that works for everyone to come out at work. Every situation is unique, and you’re the best judge of your office dynamic. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that you deserve equal treatment and respect, no matter what.

When I arrived at that holiday party with Kelly, we fit right in. I consciously didn’t swear my boss to secrecy, figuring the news would travel from there. It did. Part of me felt as if I’d been forced to come out, but in some ways it was a relief that my coworkers knew.

When you do come out at work, it’s important that you’re surrounded by people who accept you for who you are and who will support you. That’s what I’ve found at Visteon.

Looking for a way to give back on National Coming Out Day, or any day for that matter?

Consider supporting the Ruth Ellis Center with you time or through a monetary donation. This organization strives to serve young LGBTQ persons in the Metro Detroit area. For more information, ruthelliscenter.org.

 

Giving Back to the Community with Life Remodeled

Recently, I had the honor of joining my fellow Visteon employees, and some of their families and friends, for a half day of community service with Life Remodeled – a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that invests about $5 million in cash, labor and materials into one Detroit neighborhood each year.

Visteon employees like me have been participating in Life Remodeled since its inception in 2014, and the company has contributed $29,000 to this effort since 2015. This year, we joined more than 10,000 volunteers clearing virtually every blighted alleyway within a four-mile area surrounding the Durfee Innovation Society.

Before: Alley filled with trash and overgrown brush

After: Part of the Visteon team poses with the alley they worked to clear, creating a safe pathway

When 10,000 people roll up their sleeves and work toward the same goal, you see some serious impact. The improvements made through Life Remodeled are credited with significantly reducing crime in targeted communities in virtually every category, while creating workforce development and employment opportunities.

What makes us come back year after year?

I’m not generally a big fan of picking up other people’s trash and I don’t like bugs. I’ve never mowed a lawn in my life. But what I love about working with Life Remodeled is this: What we often find divides us – race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or who we voted for in the last election – all lose their significance as we work together. We are united by our desire to make positive change in the community.

Ray Foster works in our lab. He grew up in the neighborhood and attended Durfee Middle School, which is now the Durfee Innovation Society – a dynamic space for the best and brightest nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies to move in, share resources and achieve greater collective impact. He shares stories of the days when this was a vibrant, thriving community. Ray participates in Life Remodeled with the hope those days will soon return.

Jim Zachar in accounting participates in Life Remodeled with his wife every year, and has been a primary organizer of the Visteon volunteer team. He’s driven by his faith and spends additional personal time volunteering. As he was dripping with sweat from head to toe after ripping out vines and cutting down shrubs in the alley, I chuckled and told him he’d be feeling the aches and pains in the morning.

I think Jim’s response to me said it best. He gave me a smile and said, “It is not easy, but the feeling you have in your heart when you’re done is worth every ache and pain. We get a lot more than we give.”

Amna Kamal is a communications manager at Visteon. She develops and executes strategic communications for the Americas and for various functional groups and initiatives. She oversees the visteon.com website and social media activities, and is often heard saying, “Wait, let me take a quick picture of this for social!”

Amna has a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design from California State University, Fullerton. She volunteers for Scouts BSA, the Detroit Fasting 5K, Tyler Reading Program and Children’s Hospital of Michigan Bingo, and is a member of the board of directors at Crescent Academy International. In her free time, she sleeps.

Visteon Leadership and Technology Take Center Stage at the 2019 Ludwigsburg Automobil-Elektronik Kongress

The International Automotive Electronics Congress in Ludwigsburg is convening for the 23rd year on June 25 and 26, bringing together the best and brightest thought leaders to discuss current trends in the industry. Visteon’s presence will be hard to miss with President and CEO Sachin Lawande delivering a keynote address on day two, and our expertly staffed booth showcasing the latest autonomous driving technology. If that doesn’t whet the appetite of attendees, a Visteon-sponsored ice cream station at the main floor entrance will bring new meaning to “cool technology.”  

In his presentation at 9 a.m. CET on June 26, Lawande will provide unique insight into a centralized computing solution that is fully scalable to Level 2-5 autonomous driving. In fact, Visteon’s main message throughout the conference is that architecting a centralized, scalable, and modular platform like DriveCoreTM is essential for failsafe Level 2+ autonomous driving and early consumer and infrastructure adoption.

Interested in learning more about our approach to autonomous driving? Check out the video below and bring your questions to our team at Booth 33 on the second level at the Forum am Schlosspark. Or, use your phone to scan the QR code on your complimentary ice cream to see where it takes you.

Behind the scenes: From intern to professional

By: Sam Roberts

June 4, 2019

Engineers are essential to Visteon’s business — that’s a simple fact. Without engineers we’d have no products or technologies. However, other employees and functions work vigorously behind the scenes to make Visteon an attractive place to work. One of those employees is HR Generalist Christian Potvin.

Potvin, a recent graduate of Michigan State University and a former intern himself, has made his mark leading the internship program at Visteon’s headquarters and innovation center in Van Buren Township, Michigan. He recently shared his thoughts on the transition from intern to professional, as well as how working in a technical field as a non-engineer can be both exciting and rewarding.

What initially brought you to Visteon, and what led you to accept a full-time position here after graduation?

Visteon had been sending internship postings to the Michigan State HR Master’s program, and my mentor passed along the posting to me. I had a great interview that eventually led me to get the internship position. I chose a Visteon internship because, in the interview, they specified that I would act as the HR business partner for the intern population. I love working in teams and wanted to improve my leadership and project management skills, so I thought running the program as an intern myself would be a perfect fit.

I worked with Visteon as an intern up until graduation in December 2018. I was then asked to join the Visteon team full-time as an HR generalist. I chose Visteon over other offers because I loved the opportunities that awaited me. I can work in an environment where free thinking is encouraged, and I can design and implement real policies, programs and procedures that HR uses daily. The community of diverse, professional and talented people made my decision to accept the offer a no-brainer.

How was the mentorship while you were an intern at Visteon? Do you feel like it prepared you for your role now?

The mentorship I received in the HR department at Visteon was pivotal to my success and ability to be hired full-time anywhere. One of the most important lessons I learned here was how to be my own leader, think critically, and not be afraid to make decisions.

One of the most impactful mentors I had told me some advice I will never forget. She said, “In a fast-paced environment like Visteon, you have to be proactive. You have to be comfortable making a decision quickly where you won’t always be able to ask others for advice. The important thing is that you think critically, come to your decision, and can explain why you made that decision.” This has dramatically impacted my career in numerous ways and helped me be more confident in feeling I was no longer just an intern, but a member of the Visteon team.

You’re now running an intern program for Visteon. What’s it like running the program you were once a part of?

I had significant responsibilities for the intern program over the past two summers, but now being the primary contact for all of the interns here at Grace Lake Corporate Center is very exciting. It’s surreal that just seven months ago, I was technically an intern, and now I am running the entire program. Combining my recent experience and the experiences of the other interns in former programs gave me insight as to what types of skills will be beneficial to these young professionals’ growth. An excellent intern program will always be about the students in it and about preparing them for professional opportunities here at Visteon, or even another company. These students will carry the experiences and skills they learn with them for the rest of their professional career, and we want them to look back at their internship at Visteon in a positive light.

What do you think makes an excellent intern experience?

A tremendous intern experience consists of constant communication and collaboration with peers, other employees, and managers. By doing so, interns can learn new concepts and discover how to apply what they’ve learned in school to the real world. The unique thing about our intern experience is that we are not just a shadowing program; we put our interns to work. The code they are writing, the processes they are developing, and the overall work they’re completing are all contributing to Visteon’s success. As a Visteon intern, you get to be a part of a dynamic team setting and provide your input on real-life projects.

What’s it like working in HR at a technology company?

I love working in a technical environment, and working with engineers is one of my favorite parts of the job. Understanding how people in technical professions think allows me to expand my own thinking and improve processes within my personal areas of expertise. Here at Visteon, we have an expansive, diverse group of individuals, with varying levels of expertise. This collaborative, fast-paced environment has been pivotal to my development as a young professional.

Would you suggest young professionals coming out of college get into the automotive industry?

Certainly! The fast-paced nature is both exciting and rewarding for young professionals. I have seen so much growth since my start as an intern, and I can attribute that growth to my managers who were veterans of the automotive industry and my peer group of driven interns whom I worked with throughout the years. I now have much better decision making, leadership, and project management capabilities that I would have a hard time getting at another company in this stage of my career.

Digital displays enable feature updates over-the-air

May 14, 2019

By: Shripriya Subramanian

Visteon’s Platform Delivery Manager Saminathan Venkatasubramanian was recently featured in Auto Parts Asia to share his thoughts on cockpit electronics trends and Visteon’s market position.

Until recently, exterior design, engine power and fuel efficiency determined a vehicle’s success. Today, consumers lead a digital lifestyle with a connected, contextual and personalized experience and expect a vehicle to offer much more than transportation – they want a best-in-class experience.

Automakers are responding consumer’s expectations by incorporating a new generation of intelligent cockpit electronics systems – such as digital instrument clusters and connected infotainment systems – with large, intuitive displays that mimic the performance of consumer devices.

The advantage of an all-digital cluster is that it enables vehicle manufacturers to add or update a feature over-the-air, rather than developing a new instrument cluster. It makes it easy for OEMs to change the color of the drive mode or introduce new graphics, ensuring the cluster is updated and upgraded frequently.

Infotainment systems are also becoming increasingly connected to the internet through built-in connectivity modules or smartphones. In the mass market segment, we see a fast migration from commodity audio to display audio. In the case of display audio, mirroring solutions such as CarPlay and Android Auto are fast gaining popularity, given the ease of operation owing to a familiar interface. In the luxury segment, infotainment systems are loaded with features such as built-in connectivity, haptics, voice assistance, etc., thus offering a lot of convenience options to the end-user.

Based on an automaker’s preference, the infotainment system can either be based on Linux (Phoenix) or Android (Pie). Visteon’s Phoenix infotainment platform is enhanced with a powerful simulation tool chain called Phoenix Studio for developers to develop apps using HTML and JavaScript, while the Android infotainment platform is based on Android Automotive. Both platforms are designed to unlock innovation by enabling third-party developers to create apps easily while delivering built-in cybersecurity and over-the-air updates.

In addition, we are working with a number of global vehicle manufacturers to host an app store to support third-party apps and meet regional needs for both Android and Phoenix-based IVI platforms.

 

What is the next frontier of cockpit electronics?

We are now building cockpit electronics systems that converse, understand, entertain and safely take the occupants to their destination. Furthermore, with the increase in the levels of automation, the cockpit will transform into a smart, learning, mobile assistant. The system is always connected, automatically updates/learns in the background, and provides contextual information to the passengers via their smart devices, vehicle interface and the cloud – improving safety.

The smart cockpit leveraging machine learning for voice and image recognition was demonstrated at CES this year. Visteon has developed an in-vehicle conversational smart assistant for voice recognition called “Say ‘n Serve,” which is designed to use natural language processing for on-board or off-board commands in vehicles without always needing cloud connectivity. In addition, we also demonstrated a driver monitoring solution called “See ‘n Sense.” This is an in-cabin monitoring solution for head pose detection, gaze detection and identification capabilities that are key for enhanced safety.

It is interesting to note that the intelligence of the cockpit is powered by software. The extent of connectivity modules, graphical interfaces, intuitive interaction (gesture, voice, touch, haptics) and the level of autonomy will influence the number of lines of code in the vehicle. Our technical centers across the globe are a powerhouse for software development and contribute significantly to the new user experience introduced by global OEMs.

Read the full article as featured in Auto Parts Asia.

Bringing 3D technology to the vehicle – no special glasses required

April 6, 2019

By: Qais Sharif, Visteon global vice president 

The century-old automotive industry is currently going through a mobility revolution that will completely change the way we interact with our vehicles. Today’s automakers are tapping into consumer technology trends, searching for ways to elevate the in-vehicle experience while enhancing safety.

To address this trend, Visteon’s human-machine interaction (HMI) designers are creating next-generation advancements that push the boundaries of what’s possible, while keeping safety the number one priority. One of those advancements is a 3D instrument cluster with a switchable lens.

The groundbreaking design did not come without challenges. It involved deep thinking and problem-solving from Visteon designers and engineers who had to think beyond traditional barriers to achieving a high range of depth in display images. While 3D effects can be achieved for your favorite sci-fi movie using special 3D glasses, this approach won’t work an automotive environment, so “auto-stereoscopic” techniques are required. Previously, other approaches included using multiple LCDs, which lacked the optical characteristics and transmittance to achieve acceptable backlight power levels required for automotive displays.

What’s behind this innovative 3D technology?

Visteon’s unique design incorporates 3D technologies with a thin-film transistor (TFT). Visteon has been working on next-generation of 3D solutions based on lenticular array technology – a combination of miniature lenses placed in front of the LCD and precisely aligned with the TFT pixels. The blending of these micro-lenses and certain sophisticated video processing procedures creates the 3D effect for the driver. Visteon’s cluster precisely tracks the position of the driver’s eyes. Video processing algorithms generate left-eye and right-eye views, while the micro-lens array directs each view toward the corresponding driver’s eye.

You may be thinking, “Why do I need a 3D instrument cluster in my vehicle?” Besides looking amazingly cool, the answer is safety. The 3D cluster has the unique ability to bring critical information to the forefront of the display when needed – with the image increasingly coming into view and gaining prominence until the driver responds in some way. It is a creative and compelling use of the primary interface with the driver – the instrument cluster – that will gain importance as vehicles become more automated. 

Semi-autonomous vehicles of the near future will already have integrated cameras to monitor the driver’s attention and state. Therefore, eye position information will be readily available for the 3D viewing system – at no additional system cost.

Research shows that a small minority of people cannot detect 3D images, and the technology is not suitable for everyone. Visteon’s engineers also developed this technology with a switchable lens – allowing the software to switch from 3D to the native 2D resolution under certain conditions.  

Visteon is currently demonstrating a prototype 3D cluster with a switchable 3D lens to major automakers around the world. A variation of our 3D cluster was also recently launched in Groupe PSA’s new PEUGEOT 208representing the first real 3D cluster in automotive production.

Why Shanghai?

April 16, 2019

By: Luke Lu, vice president and managing director, Visteon in China

The 2019 Shanghai Auto Show is about to get under way with the theme, “Creating a Better Life.” Visteon is supporting that theme by prominently displaying electronics technology designed to improve safety and the user experience in future digital and intelligent cockpits.

This year’s show not only highlights the innovation and development of the world’s automotive industry, but also the rapid integration of vehicles with advanced manufacturing, information and communication, internet, big data and artificial intelligence. As new trends emerge, expect vehicles to adapt and become increasingly smarter, more digital and better connected.

Visteon has anticipated the emergence of the digital cockpit, as evident by our exhibit theme: “The New Cockpit Experience: Digital and Autonomous.” We are pleased to be participating in our fourth Shanghai Auto Show, where we plan to exhibit the latest Visteon products and technology that will raise the bar for the cockpit of the future.

During the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, as a leading global supplier of vehicle cockpit electronics solutions, Visteon will exhibit its newly developed intelligent digital cockpit, focusing on the enhancement of the user experience in the era of autonomous driving. The integration of two Visteon core products – the DriveCore autonomous driving controller and the SmartCore cockpit domain controller – will take center stage. Together, they form a seamless human-machine interface between the driver and the vehicle that becomes more important as cars become more automated. In addition, Visteon will showcase new high-end curved displays, which will offer users the best in display technology and experience.

Apart from product demonstrations, Visteon will join Tongji University to initiate a special partnership. In the future, we will host an Algorithm Hackathon based on Visteon’s DriveCore Studio, help develop a talent training program, and deepen academic exchanges with this prominent Shanghai-based university. These programs aim to help increase learning opportunities for college students, educate society on the specialized skills required in the industry, and bring more academic support and technological innovation. Together, we hope to promote future mobility leading to a more intelligent and networking-connected society. For Visteon, the launch of this strategic partnership is a significant step in both educating the next generation of the workforce, and elevating our research and emphasis on the future of autonomous driving. Our partnership with Tongji University is the type of relationship that can help drive the future of the auto industry – fueled by the tenacious desire of these students to change the world through the application of their studies.

During the auto show, we will also announce a strategic cooperation with two key technology providers in China, enlarging Visteon’s circle of influencers in the field of autonomous driving. This supports efforts to explore more possibilities for future mobility, and complements agreements announced at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, where Visteon signed a strategic cooperation framework with GAC and Tencent to focus on developing smart cockpit and autonomous driving.

So what do all of these partnerships mean? They mean Visteon’s future contributions to the Chinese market are worth looking forward to, as we help the global automotive market adapt to new technology and ultimately make the commute in your vehicle safer and one of the most enjoyable parts of your day.

Interested in seeing Visteon’s booth at the Shanghai Auto Show? We’ll be open to industry stakeholders April 16-19, and to the public April 20-25 in Hall 2, Booth 2A12.

Q&A with Visteon Senior Systems Engineer Ivaylo Vasilev

Interested in finding out what our global team is like? Check out this Q&A with Bulgaria-based Senior Systems Engineer Ivaylo Vasilev.

1. Describe yourself in a few sentences.

I consider myself a highly motivated, adaptive and organized systems engineer with extensive interdisciplinary and multi-cultural experience. In my private life I love traveling, playing tennis and football, and spending time with family and friends.

2. What made you decide to work at Visteon? What gave Visteon the advantage over other companies you were considering?

For me, the most decisive factor was the team I knew I would join. During my first visit to the company, I met a lot of very talented people who put great value on teamwork. I believe this is the only way one truly excels at what they do – by reaching their goals while working in a great team. Another key factor was the scope of the position and field of work. For several years, I wanted to go back to working in the automotive sector, and my dream finally came true at Visteon.

3. You previously worked at Visteon, and then got international experience in Germany. Why did you decide to look for career opportunities in Bulgaria again?

I know one can develop professionally very well abroad, but after spending 12 years in Germany and Sweden I strongly believe in the simple saying: “There is no place like home.” When I realized I could also reach my professional goals in Bulgaria, it was a very simple and easy choice.

4. What are the primary responsibilities in your current role?

I am part of the systems engineering department at Visteon in Sofia, and my current role is senior systems engineer. The project I am currently working on is an instrument cluster for a well known and established German automaker. My main responsibilities include the development and maintenance of the product system specification, as well as the investigation of risk assessment and mitigation strategies in order to ultimately improve product quality. Moreover, I am in constant contact with all other areas of the business and the customer, in order to ensure that the customer technical requirements are understood, fulfilled and verified.

5. What is the best parts of your job? What do you enjoy most about working at Visteon?

I find it very exciting and challenging to work with sophisticated automotive components on a systems level. This helps me learn something new every day and develop constantly. Moreover, I really enjoy the dynamics of the systems engineer position. I am in constant contact with talented and ambitious engineers within Visteon and at our customers. All of these make working for Visteon a true pleasure.

6. What is something valuable you have learned by working at Visteon?

Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned at Visteon is that a high level of professionalism and dedication ultimately lead to greater efficiency and great products.

7. What might surprise people about working in automotive electronics?

In general, people tend to underestimate the complexity of automotive systems, how crucial they are in our everyday life and the manpower needed in order to successfully develop products for major OEMs.

8. What is today’s biggest challenge in your work?

One of the biggest challenges in my line of work is the engineering complexity of the products we develop. A systems engineer should possess an excellent system-level understanding of the product, which in our case includes topics from software, hardware, mechanics and optics. Another key challenge I face every day is the efficient communication with external and internal stakeholders. Often one needs to achieve a fine balance in order to keep customer satisfaction high while complying with internal schedules and resources.

9. Do you have any career tips for others?

Do not settle at a position you are not entirely happy with. Keep saying “yes” to trying new things at work. Being outside your comfort zone will greatly accelerate your professional growth.

10. What would you say to someone who is considering applying for a job at Visteon?

I would say the work climate in the company is fantastic, and the possibilities for future development are excellent. If you join Visteon you will be at the forefront of automotive electronics research and development, and you will be working with a talented team who will make even the hardest chores at work seem like a lot of fun.

Innovating in the City of Cars with Dalpreet Saluja

Visteon’s Associate General Counsel and chief IP counsel, Dalpreet Saluja, was recently featured in Profile Magazine to give his take on the complex field of automotive electronics IP law.

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve had an interest in new things, new technologies,” explains Dalpreet Saluja. “I wasn’t a tinkerer, I didn’t build things, but I was always interested in what tech does, how it works, what its purpose is.”

As associate general counsel and chief IP counsel for automobile technology company Visteon, Saluja oversees all the IP concerns for the nearly $3.2 billion company, from patents to trademarks, open source, copyright, litigation, transactions and more. “Anything that relates to IP for the company falls under my responsibility,” Saluja explains. It’s that interest that sustains him and keeps him passionate in his IP work, allowing him an opportunity to learn about new automobile electronics technologies that are happening three or five years down the road.

Saluja’s current passion for IP law is partially borne from his background in computer science, which has frequently interwoven with his primary line of work. Starting his career in the public sector as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent Office, Saluja sees this initial work as a solid foundation for the rest of his career – he got to see the ins and outs of how the patent office works, gaining a solid grasp of the rules and processes behind patent law. From there, he worked at IP boutique Brooks Kushman and automotive electronics firm Harman International Industries (acquired by Samsung Electronics in 2017) before settling into his current role.

Read the full article featured in Profile Magazine.

Deep Reinforced Learning: Addressing Complex Enterprise Challenges

Current deep learning algorithms and methods are nowhere near the holy grail of “Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).”

Current algorithms lean more towards narrow learning, meaning they are good at learning and solving specific types of problems under specific conditions. These algorithms take a humongous amount of data as compared to humans who can learn from relatively few learning encounters. The transfer process of these learnings from one problem domain to another domain is somewhat limited as well.

Recently, reinforcement learning (RL) has been gaining popularity compared to other deep learning techniques. The buzz around reinforcement learning started with the advent of AlphaGo by DeepMind. AlphaGo was built to play the very complex game of Go. The essence of RL is that it can train models through the interaction with the environment and learn and calibrate from their mistakes. Learning happens through a delayed and cumulative reward system where an agent deduces an action, which then acts on the environment to make a state change. The agent takes the next best action based on the optimized delayed reward. The system retains the learning and recalls the best action when a similar circumstance arises.

Read the full article by Visteon’s CIO, Raman Mehta, on DZone.

Privacy Preference Center