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Hitachi companies collaborate to deliver smarter, safer autonomous mobility technologies.
For more than 150 years, the car has been a hotbed of technology innovation, with everything from power and lights to methods of production and efficiency. In fact, according to Boston Consulting, four of the top 10 most innovative companies in 2015 were automakers.1 But with the number of cars in the world set to double to two billion by 20402, automakers and their suppliers are kicking innovation into high gear to make cars safer, smarter and more sustainable.
With technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), sensors, big data analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) revolutionizing the automotive industry, the global market for "connected cars" equipped with autonomous mobility technologies like sensors, GPS, Internet-connected devices and Bluetooth ® technology will grow to $141 billion by 2020.3
Continuing on its long tradition of innovation in automobile safety, comfort, convenience and security, Hitachi Automotive Systems is collaborating with key Hitachi Group companies to create new technologies for these next-generation cars. The industry-leading, autonomous mobility technologies that Hitachi is developing will assist drivers in parking, lane-changing, braking, 360-degree sensing and a host of other features. For example, Clarion, a leading provider of in-vehicle information solutions, is sharing its expertise with other Hitachi companies in areas such as vision-based advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technologies, including high-definition cameras and 360-degree SurroundEye camera systems. In addition to ADAS products and technologies, Clarion also provides a wide array of other automotive electronic and telematic control systems.
The coming era of autonomous mobility requires a fusion of technologies – and Hitachi Group companies have the automotive expertise to deliver across the spectrum of autonomous mobility solutions. Here are some of the innovative technologies Hitachi developed for a broad range of safer, smarter driving capabilities:
One of the world’s leading cloud-based information access, analysis and sharing platform, Clarion Smart Access delivers a wide variety of real-time services and a safe way to use dozens of applications while driving. The Smart Access system is capable of keeping drivers aware of road conditions, hazards, vehicle performance and traffic situations by communicating the information in real time. The always-on nature of Smart Access allows automatic updates to be communicated to the driver and the car, allowing not just successful planning of trips but also dynamic interventions to avoid problem areas, saving time, fuel and aggravation.
Hitachi integrates information from on-board cameras, sensors and high-precision map into a Dynamic map to support autonomous driving with the safe and real-time application of information such as a car's position and its surrounding environment. The system uses a stereo camera that recognizes objects and simultaneously calculates the distance to them, as well as multiple cameras include electric side-view mirror cameras and mid-to long-range millimeter wave radars that detect 360 degrees around the car.
Hitachi Automotive Systems and Clarion collaborated to develop a remote parking system that automatically performs parallel and perpendicular parking, as well as pulling the vehicle in and out of the garage. The system combines Clarion's camera monitoring system with Hitachi Automotive Systems' vehicle control technologies, steering and brake actuator control technology, to park a vehicle remotely using a smartphone application. The system makes it possible to park a vehicle in tight spaces.
A major leap forward in both sound quality and efficiency, Clarion’s Full Digital Sound (FDS) system is a revolutionary all-digital sound system that maintains audio in an uncompromised form from playback source to speaker and mitigates fidelity loss from Digital to Analog conversions. The system is notably more power-efficient compared with conventional digital amplifier systems, while consuming nearly 1/5 of the power required by traditional analog systems.
The Clarion in-vehicle information and entertainment system keeps vehicles conveniently connected through cloud network services. Clarion's comprehensive information management and optimized user interface allows vehicle owners to catch up on the latest news, weather conditions and entertainment while autonomous mobility technologies safely drive the car.
With Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication, cars can talk to each other wirelessly via dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) systems. V2V technology improves safety by alerting one vehicle about the presence of others. An embedded V2V module allows vehicles to broadcast their position, speed, steering wheel position, brake status and other related data by DSRC to other nearby vehicles, helping drivers to avoid collisions.
Maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles on the road is essential to safe driving. When traveling on a highway, adaptive cruise control keeps the vehicle traveling at a set speed while maintaining a constant distance from the vehicle in front.
Leveraging Hitachi's rail car motor and control technologies, integrated energy management solutions pave the way for electric-powered mechanical design with electric control. These solutions enable reduction in size and weight while enhancing control efficiency by using innovative engine control and electric powertrain technologies. Hitachi Automotive Systems is engaged in developing control systems and technologies required for electric vehicles, including motors, inverters and lithium-ion batteries.
When driving on a highway, Lane Change Assist functions to automatically change lanes in accordance with direction indicator input from the driver. When the direction indicator is activated, the system changes lanes after the safety of the surroundings is confirmed by the system sensors. If other vehicles or obstacles are detected around the vehicle – indicating a lane change would not be safe – the lane change is not carried out and the driver is informed that the lane change is not possible.
Motion control systems developed by Hitachi Automotive Systems coordinate the capacity to look, sense and judge the actions of driving, steering and braking. For automatic emergency braking, the stereo camera recognizes obstacles ahead, sounds an alarm to notify the driver, and controls the brakes to slow and stop the vehicle when there is a danger of collision.
The automatic parking system combines Clarion's image recognition technology with Hitachi Automotive System's actuators and vehicle control equipment to assist with parking. After a parking space is identified and selected, the system uses sensors and cameras to automatically perform either parallel or perpendicular parking.
The Hitachi Center for Social Innovation has developed a suite of technologies to address predictive maintenance use cases for society’s transportation needs. The data-driven technologies provide insights that enable drivers and fleet owners to take the appropriate corrective actions in a timely manner, which help avoid unexpected failures, decreasing maintenance costs and increasing equipment availability. Driven by advanced analytics, Hitachi's predictive maintenance solutions can detect anomalies and certain failure patterns to determine the greatest risks, problems or asset failures.
2 World Economic Forum, Number of Cars Worldwide set to Double by 2040, April, 2016.
3 Allied Market Research. Connected Car Market to Reach $141 Billion, Globally, By 2020. November 2014.