Automotive Technology Encourages Alert Driving Through Smarter Seats

Automotive Technology Brings Smart Seats to Market

To stay competitive in the automotive industry, manufacturers must find innovative solutions to differentiate themselves and their products. Investing in new research and technology developments can enable both small and large manufacturing businesses to achieve higher profits, and become more competitive.

In support of this ideology, Magna International Inc. has invested in the development of ‘smart seat’ capabilities. This ground-breaking automotive technology will allow sensor systems to monitor a driver’s state of awareness and prompt safety alerts when distracted or becoming fatigued.

Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier that delivers innovative, high-value products for the automotive industry. They maintain over 300 manufacturing operations worldwide and maintain more than 150,000 employees in 29 countries.

Automotive Technology Drives Magna into New Markets

Smart seat technology is an interesting concept that several automotive manufacturers are currently investing in; among those is Magna International. During Magna’s manufacturing process, specialty sensors are embedded into the seat’s cushions, which can then monitor the drivers condition while behind the wheel. Biometric data collected from these systems will allow the vehicle to alert the driver of potential safety hazards, in real time.

The Canadian Council of Motor Transportation Administrators (CCMTA) reports that 20% of all fatal driving accidents are caused by driver fatigue.

Smart seats are a feature that will likely be installed in self-driving vehicles. This technology will have the ability to monitor a driver’s heart rate and level of alertness while operating, and ensure that people are remaining aware of their surroundings while within the vehicle.

Magna’s investment into advanced automotive technology will allow them to become the supplier of smart seats to well-known international automotive brands. This is a massive opportunity for Magna, since becoming the first producer of these seats could expand revenues and growth potential dramatically.

Discover Automotive Grants and Loans to Fuel Your Innovative R&D

With so much competition to develop innovative products and processes, some automotive manufacturers are struggling to stay competitive. One way of overcoming this hardship is to apply for Canadian government grants and loans. Automotive innovators can offset product or process development costs by accessing government funding programs, including:

Automotive Innovation Fund Canadian Automotive Research Funding

Canadian automotive manufacturers with large-scale research projects should consider applying for the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF). The program benefits automotive development projects demonstrating innovation and the creation of sustainable vehicles, fuel-efficient technologies, or processes.

AIF Canadian government funding supports 10-15% project costs with contributions ranging from $16M-80M. Projects should be valued at a minimum $75 million and be completed within 5 years.

Automotive Supplier Innovation Program Government Grants for R&D Projects

Likewise, Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP) research grants support automotive innovation and revolutionary developments across Canada. Manufacturers with projects that improve productivity, automotive component quality and efficiency, and innovative capabilities may be eligible to receive program funding.

Canadian government grants are issued from ASIP and may provide up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum $10 million over the program’s lifetime.

Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program Ontario Small Business Grants

The Automotive Supplier Competitive Innovation Program (ASCIP) is a pilot project currently accepting its final round of applications. This program supports Ontario automotive manufacturers with projects that invest in new equipment, hardware and software upgrades, as well as internal employee training. Investments should aim to increase the company’s productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.

Projects may be eligible to receive government grants worth up to 50% of qualified costs to a maximum of $100,000.

Automotive suppliers must apply before January 17, 2017 in order to be considered for funding.

IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Canadian Research Grants

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is a government agency that provides funding programs, such as the Accelerated Review Process (ARP), to solve an internal technical challenge related to product or process development. Small and mid-sized companies may reduce the cost of labour associated with the project, and therefore improve the project’s return on investment (ROI).

Eligible businesses may access up to 80% of direct labour costs and up to 50% of reputable third-party contractor costs to a maximum of $50,000.

Find Funding to Boost Your Automotive Technology Projects

Staying globally competitive requires small and mid-sized automotive manufacturers to invest in research and development projects. Despite the high cost of sustaining R&D activities, Canadian government funding is available to offset a portion of these costs.

Automotive companies can begin the process of applying for government grants and loans by contacting Mentor Works. In addition to confirming your eligibility for top automotive programs we can also help simplify your application preparation and submission.

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