SBD Automotive is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month. After adding new offices in China and Germany to existing offices in India, Japan, North America and its headquarters in the UK, SBD Automotive is now operating in six countries, spread across three continents. A long way from its humble origins as ‘Secured By Design’ in a small office in Milton Keynes, UK.
From its inception in 1997 focusing on vehicle security, SBD Automotive quickly became known for its unique, hands-on approach to anti-theft. Interviewing convicted criminals and analysing recovered vehicles, it provided the engineering and strategy-based framework that the industry needed to develop lasting, cost-effective solutions to real world security threats. With SBD’s help, several major car manufacturers transformed their brands from ‘easy to steal’, into award-winning security leaders.
As early connected technologies were launched on the back of stolen vehicle tracking, and car makers were moving towards basic ‘telematics’ services, SBD Automotive was ahead of the curve and helped one major client develop the world’s first commercial dynamic route guidance system. SBD continues to offer a wide range of services helping manufacturers understand the ever-changing worlds of connected and mobility services, building on the latest big data and artificial intelligence technologies.
By 2013, vehicle manufacturers recognized the need to start deploying collision mitigation features, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking, to achieve Euro NCAP’s ‘five-star’ rating. SBD created a new team of ADAS specialists focused on helping manufacturers make the right sensor decision and implement the appropriate user experience. The team’s attention is now firmly on the future, providing guidance on autonomous vehicles and the race towards robotaxis.
As cars started to be more connected, there was potential to compromise multiple vehicles with a single remote cyber-technology attack, but SBD was ahead of the game once again. Two years before the first industry guidelines were published, SBD was already helping major vehicle manufacturers to prepare for the threat of cars being hacked, by using its ‘secured by design’ approach based on its anti-theft background.
In 2017, having established a reputation for robust data and expert advice, as well as an ability to attract and retain the industry’s most talented specialists, SBD earned a place on the Sunday Times SME Export Track’s 100 Fastest Growing Companies, and received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, a much-coveted award for outstanding achievement by UK companies.
David Bell, CEO and co-founder of SBD Automotive, said on behalf of the founding team: “We have come a long way in 20 years, from humble beginnings, and are extremely proud to have achieved so much. We are delighted to be celebrating our 20th year, and look forward to many more milestone anniversaries in the future”.
Today, as SBD looks ahead at the future of mobility and self-driving cars, the next 20 years promise to be even more exciting!