Four men in hi-vis jackets stand in front of an autonomous vehicle with sensors and the writing Valeo on bonnet.
From left: Marc Vrecko, Valeo; Minister Seán Canney, TD; Martin Shanahan IDA; and Fergus Moyles, Valeo. Image: Aengus McMahon

Autonomous vehicle player Valeo to create 50 new jobs at Tuam R&D centre

13 Mar 2019

Self-driving car operation will put more vroom into Tuam.

Autotech giant Valeo is to invest €44m in a major research, development and innovation (RD&I) centre in Tuam.

This will generate 50 new jobs and will see Valeo’s Irish R&D centre grow to more than 500 people. The investment will also make the Tuam operation one of the largest R&D facilities in Ireland.

‘This is an exciting project, focused on new emerging and disruptive advances in autonomous vehicles’

Valeo is a major employer in the west region, with a total workforce of more than 1,000 people.

The current 450-strong R&D centre consists of many highly skilled engineers and scientists across a range of disciplines, working on the latest technologies in artificial intelligence and deep learning, for application at the cutting edge of advancements in autonomous vehicles (AVs).

Investment puts Ireland on the map for development of AVs

“Our facility in Tuam is one of the leading research centres in the group,” said Marc Vrecko, president of the Valeo comfort and driving assistance systems business group.

“With the support of IDA Ireland, Valeo continues to have a sustained and rewarding investment in Ireland. We are very excited about the announcement today to further expand our footprint here to build on the proven innovation in product and process R&D. The investment will help fuel the global growth of the vision product line and extend Valeo as global leader for ADAS [advanced driver assistance] systems and related MaaS [mobility-as-a-service] products.”

Valeo is a global giant in the areas of AVs, the electrification of the power train and digital mobility. The company has 186 plants, 21 research centres, 38 development centres and 15 distribution platforms, and employs 113,600 people in 33 countries worldwide.

The project is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.

“This is an exciting project, focused on new emerging and disruptive advances in autonomous vehicles,” said IDA Ireland CEO Martin Shanahan. “As a technology leader in autonomous technologies with a global remit, Valeo is helping in the development of a cluster in Ireland around AV.

“This project will add significant value to the company’s operations in Tuam and will benefit Tuam, Galway and the west region substantially.”

The Valeo R&D centre in Tuam is the firm’s worldwide reference centre for vision systems. The site includes a state-of-the-art production facility alongside an R&D centre of excellence with responsibility for the development and manufacture of automotive camera vision systems for global markets.

Products developed by the R&D centre in Tuam are also in production across the world at Valeo sites in Germany, Hungary, Mexico and China, in line with the group’s strategy to serve automotive customers locally.

“Valeo is a substantial and valued employer in Tuam, and indeed Galway and the west region, and this announcement that VVS [Valeo Vision Systems] is to make a major investment in an RD&I programme is great news, demonstrating significant commitment by the company to the Tuam site as it positions itself at the leading edge of the development of autonomous vehicles,” said Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources Seán Canney, TD.

“It also shows that global companies of the calibre of Valeo can find, in regional locations, the skilled workers they require, the necessary infrastructure and services, and pro-business environment to establish and grow their operations.”

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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