Series 13 – Episode 8 – Automotive insights from u-blox CEO
Paige West speaks with u-blox’s new CEO, Stephan Zizala, about the company, his plans for its future growth, and how the automotive industry is evolving.
u-blox has established itself as a pivotal player in the realm of wireless connectivity and positioning solutions. The company, founded in 1997 as a spin-off from ETH Zurich, has made significant strides in the automotive, industrial, and healthcare sectors. In the past year, u-blox reported a commendable revenue of £624 million, with a global presence through its 1,400 employees spread across 33 locations.
The new CEO of u-blox, who took office on 1 January 2023, brings a wealth of experience from a career rooted in semiconductors, notably with Infineon. His expertise in microcontrollers and power discretes, particularly in car electrification, aligns well with u-blox's focus on sustainable and autonomous driving solutions. Zizala emphasised the company's commitment to innovation, a cornerstone of u-blox's culture, which has fostered breakthroughs for decades.
u-blox's positioning in the market is robust, evidenced by the near 1 billion devices equipped with its modules and chips for positioning. This foundation provides a strong platform for further growth, especially in the evolving automotive industry. Zizala outlined the future of cars as autonomous, electric, and increasingly shared, highlighting the significant disruptions and opportunities these changes present.
In the automotive sector, u-blox is set to play a vital role. The company anticipates the arrival of autonomous driving levels two and three around 2026-2027. With this, u-blox's positioning and connectivity solutions will become even more critical, contributing to safer and more efficient vehicles.
The future looks bright for u-blox, not only in the automotive space but also in other dynamic sectors. The increasing electronic content in cars, like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, presents further opportunities for u-blox to deliver reliable and secure solutions. Security, in particular, is a paramount concern, with the company focusing on safeguarding against potential cyber threats.
u-blox's contributions are not limited to automotive and industry alone. The ageing population opens new avenues in home healthcare, where reliable and secure connections to the Cloud are crucial. The reshoring of industries in Europe and the US also underscores the need for more automation and AI-driven optimisation in manufacturing. This shift necessitates reliable data collection and connectivity, areas where u-blox's core competencies shine.