Clean and intelligent transport is the future
'It's happening at a dizzying pace,' says Erik van Rijswijk, COO of Sioux Technologies. 'The automotive industry is changing radically, and I'm not just talking about the transition to zero emissions. Vehicles are becoming cyber physical systems - smart, digital, multifunctional, autonomous and connected. At the same time, they are increasingly in the service of smart mobility concepts - for example in the field of multimodality and last mile distribution - in which a network of sustainable efficient transport from A to B is central. All this calls for fundamental future-proof innovation at the system level. In particular, the addition and integration of software intelligence and therefore also mathware makes the difference. That is the core of the added value we offer developers and manufacturers of buses, trucks and special vehicles.
New development paths
VDL Enabling Transport Solutions (VDL ETS) is one of the pearls of the Dutch automotive sector. The company focuses on researching, engineering, prototyping and testing new technology, including in the field of batteries hydrogen-electric mobility, charging infrastructure and energy storage. Director Menno Kleingeld joins Van Rijswijk in his analysis.
'There is a new belief; clean and intelligent transport is the future. This is threatening to many traditional brands. Embarking on new development paths is not easy, especially if you have committed to large-scale investments such as the production of your own combustion engines and the accompanying competencies. On the other hand, there are opportunities for innovators like VDL. We are agile; geared to innovation, sourcing the best components and fast manufacturing-to-market. For example, we develop our technology based on 5 platforms: coaches, public transport buses, vans, trucks and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). These platforms, consisting of hardware and software, jointly determine the performance of the vehicles. From the point of view of efficiency and quality assurance, the modules are largely interchangeable.'
Beautiful and challenging
Sioux people are constantly working at VDL ETS, both in-house in Valkenswaard and from the company's own Sioux Development Centre in Eindhoven. Among other things they work on the control software and HMI architecture of the VDL City Bus & Coach electric product lines and e-trucks. In addition, they are deployed on projects such as the localization and integration of new components.
Van Rijswijk: "This requires special expertise. You use generic components in process-critical applications with state-of-the-art engineering. Success requires, among other things, domain-specific knowledge of procedures, technical requirements, interaction within systems and passion for vehicles, but also, for example, competencies in agile working, data and automation...'
'And it requires mutual understanding,' Kleingeld emphasizes. 'Sioux has both high-quality generic software and automotive specialists in-house. That is a great strength. But without the right click it won't work. VDL does business with an open mind and uses the human touch. I also see that with Sioux and its people. They have the same interest and the same energy. They are part of our team and can contribute at all levels. In this way we bring innovation to the automotive sector together.