HOLLY, Mich. — Fourteen years ago, it took vision to see the promise of rearview cameras in the auto industry.
Regulators hadn’t set any requirements regarding rear visibility, and automakers had not yet made cameras an essential part of dashboards.
“But we had seen this coming,” said Swamy Kotagiri, chief technology officer at Canada’s Magna International Inc. The diversified auto supplier was one of the first to provide cameras for vision systems for automakers, with one customer under contract for 350,000 units in 2007.
Today, a combination of federal mandates for rearview visibility and the rapid development of a market for advanced driver-assistance systems has entrenched the role of cameras in current and future vehicles, and the global supplier is racing to meet growing demand.
On Wednesday, Magna’s electronics division opened a $50 million factory here, near Flint, Mich., that provides 230,000 square feet for manufacturing cameras and vision systems. Kotagiri says the…