SEAT recognise that women are behind several innovations that have shaped the automotive sector
Lane markings, turn signals and rear view mirrors all have the hallmark of a female creative mind
MARTORELL, Spain, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8th, SEAT announce they intend to honour key female contributions in the automotive industry. They believe it is imperative to note that rear view mirrors, lane markings and turn signals were all the brainchild of women. These trailblazers shaped the automotive sector with their innovations and led the way for the following generations. SEAT would like to recognise and commemorate five women who revolutionised the world of driving with their talent and courage.
These women include June McCarroll (1867-1954) for the dividing line in the middle of the road. SEAT have since built on this by developing lane assist, as explained by Lluïsa Tomás: "We currently have systems than help drivers stay inside their lane, like lane assist, and warn them in the event of involuntary lane departures. It operates with a camera located behind the rear view mirror that detects lane markings and the vehicle's position. If the car deviates from its path, the assistant sends a warning. This system is set to activate once 65 km/h is reached."
SEAT would also like to highlight Florence Lawrence (1886-1938) for her contributions to signalling systems like indicators and brake lights. Maite Paris, who is responsible for Front Illumination Development at SEAT, believes these to be an essential driving safety feature, preventing numerous accidents, especially rear end collisions. SEAT have strived to improve this, as Maite explains: "Today we have LED lighting and signalling systems with a much lower activation time, and in the case of the turn signals, they enable the introduction of dynamism to the area, making their function more visible. In addition to being a fundamental part of a car's design, the benefit of LED fixtures is that they last longer and consume less."
SEAT's work to improve windscreen wipers and safety systems in the face of adverse weather conditions is highlighted by Leyre Olavarría, who is responsible for Infotainment and Connected Car at SEAT: "The safety systems of a car in the event of adverse weather conditions have prevented a multitude of accidents, but now we can push the envelope even further. Thanks to applications and new mobility services, connected vehicles enable us to plan routes, adapt them in real time according to factors such as the weather and recommend the best transportation option to reach our destination." This is down to Mary Anderson's (1866-1953) inventive device for clearing windscreens in 1902.
Finally, SEAT would like to honour Dorothy Levitt, the Fastest Girl on Earth (1882-1922) for her contribution to the rear view mirror. Teresa Salinas, who is responsible for headliner systems and interior mirrors at SEAT points out that, "The present and the future lie in assistants that help drivers and give them a full view. For example, the rear mounted camera for easy parking manoeuvres or the system that detects blind spots in the door mirror. Dorothy Levitt's rear view mirror idea, which she came up with to better see the traffic behind her, now features additional functions that include sensors that adapt to exterior light for enhanced vision, driver information and cameras. And we are adding more functions with technological solutions that will soon be market ready on our new models. There's no stopping innovation."
SEAT is the only company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets cars in Spain. A member of the Volkswagen Group, the multinational has its headquarters in Martorell (Barcelona), exporting 80% of its vehicles, and is present in over 80 countries on all five continents. In 2018, SEAT sold 517,600 cars, the highest amount in the brand's 68 years of history.
The SEAT Group employs more than 15,000 professionals and has three production centres – Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat and Martorell, where it manufactures the highly successful Ibiza, Arona and Leon. Additionally, the company produces the Ateca and the Toledo in the Czech Republic, the Tarraco in Germany, the Alhambra in Portugal and the Mii in Slovakia.
The multinational has a Technical Centre, which operates as a knowledge hub that brings together 1,000 engineers who are focussed on developing innovation for Spain's largest industrial investor in R&D. SEAT already features the latest connectivity technology in its vehicle range and is currently engaged in the company's global digitalisation process to promote the mobility of the future.