Issue: Jul 2015


HELLA Takes Leadership Role In Popular Driver-Assistance Systems



by Nick Palmen

HELLA, a global leader in developing radar sensors that support driver assistance systems, is introducing a new generation of its 24GHz radar-based driver-assistance technology.

With production starting in June 2015 at HELLA's U.S. manufacturing plant in Flora, Ill., HELLA is launching their new generation 3.5 radar sensor system as a complement to its generation 3.0 system, which has been in production since last year.

In addition to blind spot detection, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert and rear pre-crash functionalities, which are already in series production, HELLA's new system adds a fifth function to the OEM's safety portfolio. The exit alert function is currently in pre-production status and ensures the safety of all road users; pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles when exiting the car.

"We have taken a scalable approach with our third generation driver-assistance products, giving automakers the flexibility to offer a variety of driver safety packages to their customers, depending on the vehicle segments involved," said HELLA's Robert Hurley, U.S. product line director for Driver Assistance Systems.

"Automotive safety systems based on the 24GHz narrow-band frequency can be used almost anywhere in the world and primarily support medium-range rearward-facing applications," Hurley added. "That's why this bandwidth produces good results for standard applications involving lane change assist, blind spot detection and exiting a parking spot."

He pointed out that HELLA's radar-based driver safety systems operating on the 24GHz frequency are developed in a cost effective manner, making advanced driver assistance systems more accessible for high volume vehicle segments and supporting global efforts to reduce the number of road traffic accidents.

HELLA, the European market leader for rear-radar systems, is also gaining share in North America with global demand for rear-radar applications forecasted to reach 11 million systems by 2019, compared to 4 million in 2014 (Strategy Analytics, May 2015). Since its first generation system was introduced in 2005, major updates have followed. 

Hurley said the company also plans to introduce further updates in 2017 and 2018, adding a 24GHz radar system generation 4.0, followed by a 77GHz generation 5.0 that will provide functions in the front of the vehicle.

"We feel very good about the way our radar-based driver assist packages are being refined, expanded and improved by our engineers and research teams," Hurley said. "OEM and consumer acceptance of each new generation of radar-based, driver assist system tells us we are on the right track with safety technology."

A recently published J.D. Power & Associates study further supports the importance of safety-related driver-assistance features. The study found that three of the top five technologies consumers would most prefer in their next vehicle are related to collision protection.

The report says the technologies consumers express the most interest in having in their next vehicles are blind-spot detection, night vision, and enhanced collision-mitigation systems.

The only non-collision protection technologies cited were camera rearview mirror, which falls into the driving assistance category, and self-healing paint, a comfort and convenience category, the report said.

HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., Lippstadt: HELLA is a global, family-owned company, listed on the stock exchange, with more than 30,000 employees at 100 locations in more than 35 countries. The HELLA Group develops and manufactures lighting and electronic components and systems for the automotive industry and also has one of the largest trade organizations for automotive parts, accessories, diagnosis, and services within Europe. In addition, complete vehicle modules, air-conditioning systems, and vehicle electrical systems are produced in joint venture companies. With more than 5,800 people working in research and development, HELLA is one of the most important innovation drivers on the market. In addition, with sales of approx. 5.3 billion euros in fiscal year 2013/2014, the HELLA Group is one of the top 50 automotive parts suppliers in the world and one of the 100 largest German industrial companies.

 



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