Innovation for sustainability
Innovation and sustainability are two inseparable concepts. It is therefore important to clarify from the start just what Iveco means by innovation:
“Innovation is a product of methodological novelty,
that introduces a discontinuity serving
to improve customer satisfaction and the requirements
of sustainable mobility.”
Our innovation process is based on a clear set of processes, focused on satisfying our product development, design activities and production methods. Creativity is encouraged at all levels, but only the best ideas, those meeting the stringent standards of technological and economic feasibility, will go forward to become product developments and will become realised for our customers.
The technical innovation plan is organised in the following four pillars for product development:
and for methodological innovation, into the following elements:
• product development procedure
• virtual analysis
• measurement and verification of performance
• integration of product and process
Confirming that innovation is part of Iveco’s DNA, it is sufficient to note that the company offered vehicles to its customers, already compliant with Euro V emissions levels four years before its mandatory introduction date, which currently offers a wide range of products conforming to the EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) standard, the most stringent available European standard. In 1986 the first Daily electric vehicle was made available and now Diesel-electric hybrid vehicles have become a reality consolidated and tested by several large customers in urban transport.
Innovation in telematics is represented by the Blue & Me Fleet system, a telematics package offered in collaboration with Qualcomm, industry experts in mobile vehicle communications for fleet management, thus generating a new application system developed by Fiat Group and Microsoft that has changed the paradigms of vehicle communication services. Blu&Me Fleet is developed on the Qualcomm’s FleetVisor™ mobile communication platform, able to provide a sophisticated Internet based vehicle management system.
The acronym guiding Iveco’s innovation in terms of active safety is ADAS or Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, that is all those systems and devices for driver assistance to help prevent road accidents. There is ample evidence that the main cause of road accidents is human error. These systems serve to help prevent possible accidents due to inappropriate behaviour, lack of competence, fatigue or simple misjudgement. Such systems include such features as ESC (Electronic Stability Control); ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control); LDWS (Lane Departure Warning System).
The philosophy of Iveco’s innovation extends naturally to special vehicles, for which it has developed the most advanced technologies in the field of fire fighting applications, off-road quarry and construction applications, defence and civil protection. In particular Iveco is a global leader in the production and sales of fire appliance ladders with the most advanced patents in the world, while military vehicles are equipped with the latest crew protection technologies in this sector. The LMV (Light Multirole Vehicle) vehicle, destined for tactical military and defence roles and peacekeeping, represents an excellent example in the defence sector. Totally designed and built by Iveco Defence Vehicles, it uses sophisticated technology whose strengths are high mobility and IED protection.
Very important for the entire Iveco innovation process is the methodological approach we call the “democratisation of innovation.” Our company, in fact, no longer only rely on its own ability to carry out research and development, but can count on customers, end users, suppliers, public and private institutions, research centres and universities in a win-win process in which all stakeholders become actors of change.
As evidence of the commitment that the company has always dedicated to innovation, both to the product and the processes, Iveco has recently been awarded the “Enterprise Award for Innovation”, a prestigious award given by Confindustria to those companies with the most advanced innovation processes.
Group Synergies for Innovation
Iveco’s environmental commitment is part of a broad approach to the sustainability of the entire Fiat Group. Innovative technologies developed for one sector are in fact made a common factor so that they can be shared. Optimisation projects in fuel consumption, or other technological innovations tested in the field, are used in all other sectors of the Group.
Common Rail and Multiair, for example, are just some of the technological innovations developed within the Fiat Group by CRF (Fiat Research Centre) and FPT (Fiat Powertrain Technologies). With this series of innovations the Diesel engine has been completely renovated in recent years, achieving excellent results in terms of engine efficiency, low noise and operating costs. The impact of these innovations on the environment in terms of reducing emissions is actually enormous, and the difference between today’s emission levels compared to the first Diesel engines is little short of incredible.
The research into the optimisation of the Diesel engine continues with the objective of reducing emissions and fuel consumption. In parallel, numerous innovations in the field of alternative energies and traction systems are being developed.
The Fiat Research Centre adopts a systems approach designed to explore innovative solutions that express a concept of full circle mobility: the main objectives are to limit fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with innovative engine technologies, but also improve the efficiency of vehicle achieved by exploiting the use light weight materials, improved aerodynamics, the mobile information applications, the use of ecological materials and recyclability.