Sonatus opens software-defined vehicle R&D, engineering centre in Dublin

Automotive software company Sonatus has opened an R&D and engineering centre in Dublin to expand its engineering and business capabilities.

The software-defined vehicles (SDV) arena is hot this year. Research from IDTechEx in January forecast a 35% CAGR in automotive software-related revenue by 2034, with software-related revenue worth more than US$700bn annually.

The report, Connected and software-defined vehicles 2024-2034: Markets, forecasts, technologies, noted that the most basic form of SDV is a vehicle where the user experience is affected in some way by the software in a vehicle. It said that, generally, a software-defined vehicle requires a constant cellular connection (4G or 5G); a large, touch-enabled screen; and a powerful central compute system that is also connected to the vehicle’s constituent components. Many SDVs also take advantage of third-party apps and in-vehicle payments to add more features and convenience to the user.

IDTechEx added that connected vehicles and SDVs represent a new paradigm for automakers and consumers. Whereas older ICE vehicles were a conglomeration of more than 70 electronic control units, kilometres of wiring and many thousands of components, the new era of vehicles can be more centralised, connected and convenient, bringing benefits to both consumers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Key to cashing in on demand will be highly skilled technicians. Sonatus said it will be deploying seasoned talent to expand its footprint and enable closer collaboration across this important region and beyond. Establishing the centre will support the company’s service to existing and future customers.

“Software technology in vehicles is accelerating, and Sonatus is at the forefront of working with vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers to enable the future capabilities consumers will demand,” said Jeff Chou, co-founder and CEO of Sonatus. “We are investing in developing an R&D and engineering centre in Ireland to ensure we can respond effectively to the needs of our customers globally.”

For the running of the Dublin centre, the firm has hired a local management team comprising seasoned business and technical leaders spanning a range of disciplines to work closely with other Sonatus design centres around the world.

Serving as general manager of the Ireland office and overseeing business operations is Marc Synnott, who brings over 20 years of management and financial experience to Sonatus.

“The opportunities for software-defined vehicles are expanding significantly, but can be technically complicated, requiring close collaboration between automotive manufacturers and technology leaders like Sonatus,” he said.

“This new R&D and engineering centre gives Sonatus access to Ireland’s highly skilled and qualified pool of engineering and technical talent, and brings Sonatus closer to more customers as we continue to expand our business across Europe and the rest of the world.”

Mary Buckley, executive director of IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for the attraction and retention of inward foreign direct investment into Ireland, said: “IDA Ireland is proud of Ireland’s reputation as a trusted technology hub and pleased to welcome Sonatus’ new design centre in Dublin.

“This announcement is testament to the talent and expertise that global companies can access here,” she said. “The automotive technology market is rapidly growing, and Sonatus’ arrival in Ireland will expand this important growth sector.”

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