Valeo and IBM are joining forces in a bid to enhance the reliability of embedded software and rid cars of crippling electronic faults.
The French auto supplier and the US information technology specialist are creating a division with 80 engineers coming from both companies to achieve top reliability and safety for automotive software.
Due to start in July, the project is set to last five years but could be extended, says IBM spokeswoman Carla Egleder.
For IBM, which sees the automotive industry as a growth area, the project with Valeo is the first one of such magnitude, Egleder says. But she declined to put a figure on IBM’s investment in the operation.
The Valeo-IBM initiative comes as carmakers are increasingly worried about the high cost of recalls due to electronics problems.
Between 1999 and 2003 automakers’ warranty costs jumped from E4 billion to E7 billion, she says.
More than half of today’s warranty costs can be traced to software and electronics problems, according to a report from Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.
PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Mercedes, and Renault have been hit hard by technical glitches in their cars.