"It requires one cable for each type," said Micha Risling, senior vice president of Valens Automotive, based in Hod HaSharon, Israel. "For video, audio, USB and Internet, you will carry them over five or six cables today," he said. "We can carry them over one cable."
Cutting down on the amount of wire also saves weight, Risling told Automotive News. "Today when an OEM engineer is working on an idea for a feature, you somehow need to reduce the extra weight," he said. "Every gram you save has a direct effect on fuel consumption."
Tesla CEO Elon Musk this year created buzz around eliminating wiring when he told analysts that the Tesla Model 3 contains roughly half the 10,000 feet of wire used in the Tesla Model S liftback, which was launched in 2012.
He said Tesla's next model, the Model Y small crossover, would require only 328 feet.
In August, Aptiv CEO Kevin Clark told market analysts that his company is Tesla's primary wire harness provider. Clark said Aptiv is having similar strategic discussions with other automakers about reducing wiring and new architectures for vehicles — "principally with the European German luxury OEs."
Even as the amount of wiring potentially shrinks, Clark said the Tier 1 supplier expects to more than make up for it in terms of content per vehicle, because Aptiv also supplies the associated components for optimizing signal distribution over fewer wires. Aptiv considers the linkup with Valens as a strategic partnership.