Mike Pryce, President
Over the past 60 years, the forces of competition and regulation have driven the automotive industry to improve their products at a break-neck pace, and that pace is increasing. All US and International Automotive start-ups, Tier 1 suppliers, and OEMs are constantly innovating to provide more competitive products. Much of the recent investment, made and planned, has centred on emissions, safety, EVs and autonomous vehicles.
Some of the investments, into vehicle autonomy, include V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle communication), 5G, the development of high-quality sensors, sensor fusion, advances in AI as well as supplemental sources of “off-board” (off vehicle) operating information. Manufacturers also must contend with a shortage of talent and experience to roll out AVs, that are truly suitable for a waiting public. All of this needs to be executed within very tight budget and timing constraints.
As automotive manufacturers have been facing up to this reality, Pilot Systems International, a 25-year provider of High Science Automotive solutions, has been a leading provider of innovation. Pilot has concentrated on identifying gaps in on-going product development (PD) plans and then outlining and in many cases executing effective “gap closing” solutions.
Pilot’s state-of-the-art technology, VOIS™ (Vehicle Operating Information System), is an example of this focus. VOIS development clearly identifies the absence of sufficient operational information for full autonomous operation through an in-depth understanding of the needs and capabilities of AVs.
Driving is an intensely complex process that frequently involves mentally demanding interactions with other drivers, pedestrians and the vehicle operating infra-structure. In many of those situations, humans rely on their senses, their generalized intelligence and intuitions. AI machines are still years from matching the operating capabilities of humans. VOIS is set to change that narrative by blending in broad technological prowess with a humanistic approach to vehicle operations.
Roger D Berry, CEO
Overall, Pilot is a beautifully balanced amalgamation of a small but agile team of 20 people, and a network of over a hundred Subject Matter Experts, often the best-in-class of the automotive industry. Pilot Systems leverages these professionals to design and develop ground-breaking vehicular propulsion and mobility-related solutions. “Considering ourselves as plug and play contributing partners, we help customers maintain their product development schedules while providing a support team to contribute on a more cyclical basis,” remarks Roger. He goes on to explain that “some of our customers have commented, the way that Pilot puts a team together, reminds them of the movie “Ocean’s Eleven”.
Pilot Systems applies their own proven product development processes and dovetails these processes with the customer’s modus operandi. That is exactly where Pilot’s proprietary process, CertTrac® comes into play. Being a trademarked and registered Regulatory Compliance Management tool, CertTrac allows the client’s product development team to identify and manage compliance to all the regulations that apply to the product being developed, wherever in the world the vehicle will be sold.
Pilot understands the scale of the overall project and how it merges with the customer’s larger product and business systems. Cert Trac identifies acceptance criteria, PD implications and PD related open issues. Pilot then provides a completely documented package that is archived and logically accessible.
As a result, if a regulation-related issue pops up in one or five or 15 years, the customer can rest assured that all the information related to complying with those regulations can be easily retrieved from the archives.
Owing to their pioneering approach in giving rise to smart, autonomous vehicles, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Pilot Systems has numerous success stories to their credit. Roger relayed an instance where, one of their clients, a multi- Billion-dollar tier-one supplier, was developing a “Control-by-Wire” electronic throttle control (ETC) system. When Pilot was engaged, the PD status was 6 months behind schedule and only 18 months from SOP! The Pilot team, after only 6 months, caught the program up 6 months (putting it back on schedule) and provided two patents that added value and competitiveness to the customer’s product.
As a result of Pilot’s contributions, the supplier was able to meet production schedules, providing millions of systems and avoiding the immense business cost that would have been associated with not meeting their contractual obligations.
Ultimately, at the center of the company’s strengths, Pilot Systems continues to rely on its core team of industry leading individuals as well as their expansive network of subject matter experts and trusted suppliers. This coordinated team delivers superlative automotive solutions. These contributions increase the ultimate customer’s satisfaction and is at the core of every Pilot initiative. Armed with their belief, hard work, integrity and skill, they are ready to help their customers formulate, execute, and deliver unrivalled automotive solutions.