Aptiv is best known for developing the "brain" of the car via its advanced safety and user experience division. Although its work on autonomous driving software makes headlines, the company generates the bulk of its income from supplying the car's "nervous system" -- the electrical cables and connectors produced by its signal and power solutions unit. Aptiv's European division generates about a third of the company's global revenue. It is run by Michael Gassen, who spoke with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs
Aptiv is well known for supplying Lyft's autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Las Vegas. What are your aspirations for autonomous technology in Europe?
We are not basing anything on hopes. We are trying to be realistic. So, when it comes to Europe, clearly the focus is not Level 4 or 5 [fully autonomous systems] but on more Level 2 to 3. We are working on several programs with European customers.
When will European lawmakers allow hands-off automated highway driving?
The customers we are working with expect to launch a Level 3 [which allows hands-off capability but requires the driver to take back control at any time] application in 2021.
Can you say which customers?
Is that 2021 rollout for Level 3 Europewide or for specific markets?
It's across the region. Also, Europe is not the only region that is working on Level 3. We see the same in the U.S. and China.
Does Aptiv work with the authorities when it comes to legislating Level 3 or do you leave that to your customers?
We are actively involved in discussing this with regulators but certainly more alongside the automakers. Aptiv splits its business between the advanced safety and user experience division and the much larger signal and power solutions unit.
On the advanced safety and UX side, which technologies brings in the most income?
Active safety is growing faster than user experience right now.