The company's mobility tech center is in San Mateo, which has become a hub for experimenting with self-driving cars. They've been authorized by California's DMV to put autonomous vehicles on the open roads.
KCBS Radio recently got a ride on the high-tech highway in a Range Rover equipped with ultrasonic, radar, lidar and camera sensors made by Valeo.
All it takes is the press of the button, and the car is driving along. There are six levels of automation — from level zero, which is completely manual to level five, a ride sans steering wheel.
Alexandre Garnault, a technical leader at Valeo, demonstrated the Range Rover's level four capabilities during a spin around San Mateo.
He sat in the driver's seat, but didn't press the gas or brake pedals or keep his hands on the steering wheel.
"You see I'm really comfortable ... and you get very used to it, so quickly," he said.
Riding in a car without an active driver behind the wheel is an exciting sign of things to come. But as driverless cars becomes more commonplace, and fewer people actually engage in the act of driving, Valeo's development team believes people will have more time to connect with one another. That's why Valeo is integrating its sensors with virtual reality, so virtual passengers can come along for the ride.
"So you can see the person, and you can wave and say hi," Hermina said, waving to his grandmother, who laughed and waved back. "Hey, how are you," Hermina asked. "Doing great," she replied.
"Every team member within my team is from a different country," Hermina said. "So we had a lot of motivation for creating a system that could bridge the gap between people."