Offering a look at the future of automotive technology, DENSO demonstrated its Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) on Thursday for company associates and media.
The ultimate goal for DENSO is to develop technologies to help create a traffic-accident-free future. A three-day ADAS demonstration event at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee provided a look at the automated driving technology that will soon be produced in Maryville.
About 60 DENSO associates got to watch and participate in the demonstration. According to Britt Autry, DENSO vice president of manufacturing, all of the feedback from associates has been positive.
Thursday’s event demonstrated an autonomous braking feature. This technology uses two sensors on the front of the car to measure distance between it and another vehicle or object, and will brake for the driver. One of the sensors is a camera located on the windshield, and the other sensor is behind the emblem on the front of the vehicle.
For the autonomous braking feature to work, the car must be going at least 10 mph. Once the technology determines the driver is not stopping when encountering an object ahead, brakes will engage on their own. That halts the vehicle with about three to four feet between it and the object in the vehicle’s path.
The ADAS technology is not brand new; it was launched to the public in 2016. The news is that manufacture of this technology will soon be moving to the Maryville DENSO location. While DENSO was not the first to come out with this technology, its version is different from other manufacturers’ existing equipment, according to the company.
This autonomous braking technology is designed to assist the driver, and not to self-drive. This means the driver can override the technology, if something were to malfunction.
The vehicle used in the demonstration was a 2016 Lexus RX, driven by Amanda Dango, an engineer at DENSO, who specializes in the development of ADAS technology. The Lexus vehicle was shipped here from Japan, where DENSO’s autonomous braking technology was developed.
Reporters witnessing the demonstration got the chance to take a ride in the Lexus to experience the autonomous braking technology for themselves. Signals warn the driver before the car stops automatically. An alarm sounds and a message appears on a display screen that instructs the driver to brake. Those warnings alert a driver that something is in front of the vehicle.
Autry explained that the automotive world is experiencing a paradigm shift, which he referred to as CASE.
CASE stands for connected vehicles (vehicles having the ability to recognize other vehicles), autonomous drive (technology to reduce human error while driving), shared mobility (ride sharing) and electrification (the move from traditional engines to electric engines.
As exemplified by ADAS, DENSO officials envision more technological changes in the transportation industry over the next 10 years than in the past 100.
The $1 billion expansion underway at DMTN is designed to put DENSO in the forefront of automotive safety technology as the company plans for the future of mobility.