HELLA in Plymouth Township Shows Off Autonomous Driving Solutions at North American International Auto Show


During this week’s North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, HELLA, a Plymouth Township-based lighting and electronics company, is displaying technologies that not only enable higher levels of autonomous driving, but allow OEMs and drivers the freedom to create more customized vehicles.

The auto supplier is showcasing its multifunctional SHAKE (Structural Health and Knock Emission) sensor and innovations in car body lighting design.

Building upon existing camera and radar systems that provide vehicles the ability to “see” the environment around them, HELLA’s SHAKE sensor gives cars an opportunity to “feel” their surroundings, opening the door for new detection functions.

The sensor was recently upgraded to recognize structure-borne sound waves generated by contact or knocks on the vehicle body through a piezoelectric foil. Upon analyzing the sounds, the sensor gives manufacturers the choice of executing up to three detection functions in a single solution.

The SHAKE technology’s three optional functions are:

Intelligent Damage Detection: detects the severity, time, and place of vehicle damage, including scratches, dents, and paint damage. It then records the incidents to create damage reports for owners and mobility companies who may use autonomous vehicles in car-sharing applications.

Adaptive Impact Detection: uses two sensors, located on the front and rear of vehicles, to detect the slightest touches of cars or pedestrians to the vehicle’s bumpers at speeds up to approximately 12 mph. The sensors also can trigger a signal to stop vehicles to prevent further damage, as well as detect contact and perform an emergency stop if any collision with obstructions occurs during parking.

Smart Touch Detection: offers drivers individual convenience and safety features by allowing them to control autonomous vehicles with the touch of their hand.

Beyond sensors, lighting solutions are growing in importance for both autonomous vehicle safety and design. HELLA’s new exterior lighting components, including headlamps, rear combination lamps and daytime running lights, present additional performance and styling options to OEMs.

“HELLA is actively working to lead the industry in developing solutions that help OEMs manufacture vehicles with superior performance, advanced safety features, and coveted customization options,” says Steve Lietaert, president of HELLA Corporate Center USA.

“Individualization is one of the top trends we are focusing on to address the technologies needed for future autonomous mobility. Our SHAKE sensor, which goes into series production this year and offers numerous safety and comfort function, is an example of one of these technologies.

The NAIAS is open to the public Jan. 20-18. Tickets are required for entry.

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