‘Connected Car’ Leader Laird Continues Global Expansion, opens Romanian Design Center

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Capitalizing on the region’s flourishing technology environment, Laird (LRD: London) announced on Monday it has opened a new Design Center in Bucharest, Romania to continue expanding the company’s global footprint and its leadership in automotive telematics, wireless in-vehicle charging, smartphone integration, and sophisticated antenna systems.

“We are very excited to be opening our newest Design Center here in Bucharest, which has a highly educated workforce and tremendous software expertise,” said Eric Vandernoot, Laird Senior Vice President of Technology. “Initially, this dynamic team in Bucharest will consist of 20 engineers, although we could have as many as 40 by the end of the year as we continue developing technology for connected cars of today and for the future.”

Vandernoot said the Bucharest team will support Laird in three product categories: telematics, smartphone integration, and antenna systems. They are produced by Laird’s Connected Vehicle Solutions (CVS) division primarily for Laird’s automotive customers worldwide.

Laird’s unique combination of “smart” antennas and in-vehicle capabilities enable 5G, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and satellite communications; full telematics features; consumer electronic device integration (smartphone, tablet, game console); over-the-air software updates for vehicles; in-vehicle data streaming; USB hub; wireless in-vehicle charging; and, other connected car benefits that enhance safety and the driving experience.

“At Laird, we like to say, ‘We make technology work.’ As a trusted partner to the world’s leading automotive brands, our CVS division designs, develops and delivers solutions to keep vehicles connected while on the move,” Vandernoot said. “As a leading supplier to the automotive industry, Laird is extremely well-positioned for the new world of increasing automotive connectivity, autonomous vehicle, vehicle-on-demand, and digitalization that will impact the way we all travel in the future.”

The emergence of connected cars in recent years has enabled drivers to facilitate seamless real-time communication on-the-go, along with increased comfort level, convenience, performance, safety and security.

Other benefits include advanced diagnostics systems that provide maintenance information to automobile dealers and consumers; sophisticated vehicle management systems (VMS) that can provide detailed information about a vehicle’s performance; and, driver assisted solutions.

Revenue in the global connected car market is valued at US$29.974 million (nearly US$30 billion) in 2018, and is projected to reach US$43,245m (US$43.2 billion) in 2022, according to Statista, a well-known research analyst and provider of statistics in the automotive field.

The market’s largest category is the “Connected Hardware” segment with a market volume of US$27,540m (US$27.5 billion) in 2018, and anticipated segment growth to US$36,200m (US$36.2 billion) worldwide in 2022.

The new Bucharest Design Center is among Laird’s 49 locations worldwide, including 21 engineering and manufacturing facilities, 18 research and design centers, and 10 sales and administrative offices in 19 countries.

Laird’s new employees will work in a leased facility at 33A Dorobanti Street, near University ASE (Economic Study Academy), in an appealing, contemporary environment close to Old Downtown Bucharest that has many other businesses, restaurants, night life, and public transportation, including the Bucharest Metro.

Laird Vice President of Human Resources Vasco Ropers said Laird is accepting applications to fill the new positions in Bucharest. Interested candidates can apply or get more information at https://careers.lairdtech.com

London-based Laird is a member of numerous domestic and international organizations that are testing or establishing standards for connected and autonomous vehicles. It also is a member of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA), an international cross-industry organization formed a year ago to foster the development of connected vehicles, self-driving cars, and intelligent transport systems.