The Lear Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, has been selected by the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) as its exclusive partner to supply advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) road side units (RSUs) and onboard units (OBUs).
Wyoming is one of the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) three pilot sites for connected vehicles, along with New York City and Tampa, Florida. The Wyoming pilot is expected to last 20 months, and terms of the contract were not disclosed. The partnership between Lear and Wyoming is one of multiple public-private ventures hoping to accelerate the widespread use of intelligent connected infrastructure. Panasonic has entered a similar agreement with Colorado DOT, as part of the state’s RoadX initiative, and multinational telecommunications giant AT&T has partnered with Michigan to help fund the American Center of Mobility, which will become a national testing ground for connected and autonomous vehicles.
The WYDOT project will focus on trucking and highway driving in adverse weather conditions. In addition to supplying all related safety applications to this pilot program, Lear’s E-Systems division will supply its Locomate Roadstar product, with features such as dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), high-precision GPS, wi-fi, security and more. Designed to withstand harsh environments, the Locomate Roadstar is the next generation of this product from Lear’s automotive connectivity product portfolio.
As vehicles and communities become more connected, Lear is leading the way with advanced connectivity technologies. The company has complete in-house capabilities, augmented by its 2015 acquisition of Arada Systems, for vehicle electrical systems required to connect vehicles to other vehicles and to roadside infrastructure, including hardware, software and cybersecurity. Lear has deployed road-side equipment in more than 20 locations across eight states and in five countries.
“We are pleased to showcase our unique expertise with both in-vehicle and roadside infrastructure capabilities, as well as our commitment to work closely with states such as Wyoming, in order to provide vehicle connectivity solutions,” said Frank Orsini, Lear senior vice president and president of the E-Systems business segment.
“Our E-Systems team is focused on delivering innovations for automotive connectivity platforms, and our industry-leading vehicle connectivity product offering is the result of our global engineering talent bringing leading products to market.”
Bill Panos, WYDOT director, commented, “We appreciate partnering with an outstanding global corporation like Lear. Our team and theirs have worked together in a fine example of public-private collaboration. We are proud in Wyoming to be taking a lead in this space, and chose Lear, since their products, vision, and personnel are at the forefront of the world’s V2X industry.”