As part of this strategy, or its ‘Second Founding,’ DENSO continues to focus on vehicle electrification, automated driving and connected technology; invest in research and development (R&D) globally; and explore new business domains outside the automotive industry to bring about significant social change and benefits to all.
Sustainability and contributing to a greener world will be pivotal to DENSO’s efforts.
“Since our founding 70 years ago, DENSO has revered sustainability and sought to improve it through our business activities,” said Koji Arima, president and CEO of DENSO Corporation. “To achieve our Long-Term Policy for 2030, it’s critical we deliver solutions that are innovative, safeguard the environment and embrace society’s broader needs. With this in mind, DENSO will continue to prioritise sustainability and aim to resolve social issues as we help transform mobility for all.”
Increasing performance in electrification and automated driving
The automotive industry is betting big on autonomous and electrified vehicles. DENSO, noting the shift, has increased its focus on the technologies that will allow these cars to become more commonplace and make roads safer. Since the spring, the company has announced several major investments to advance the two areas:
A $1.6 billion investment in its Japanese R&D and production facilities to boost development and output of electrified automotive products, systems and technologies.
A $1 billion investment, made collectively with Toyota and SoftBank Vision Fund, in Uber’s self-driving car unit.
“To realise the aggressive safety and sustainability targets in our Long-Term Policy, vehicle electrification and autonomy will be key,” said Yoshifumi Kato, senior executive officer of global R&D at DENSO Corporation. “The progression of these technologies will also help us achieve efficient mobility for all, push us closer to an accident-free society and bolster our overall growth strategy.”
Innovating through global collaboration
DENSO continues to produce technologies and products that increase safety while lowering environmental impact through collaborative innovation and R&D. This drives groundbreaking developments in autonomous vehicles, electrification and other emerging areas. For example:
DENSO, AISIN, ADVICS and JTEKT established J-QuaD Dynamics, a new company focused on integrated control software for automated driving, vehicle motion control and other related functions.
To amplify its electrification expertise further, DENSO collaborated with AISIN to establish BluE Nexus, a new company that develops driving modules for electric vehicles.
DENSO and Toyota Motor Corporation are establishing a joint venture for in-vehicle semiconductors. In a safe and sustainable mobility future, next-generation semiconductors are integral to connected cars, automated driving, shared mobility and electrification.
DENSO joined the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI) Consortium to help standardise blockchain technology for mobility, a move that helps improve security, shared services, and data and payment management in transportation.
An initial member of the new Autonomous Vehicle Computing Consortium, DENSO is solving some of the biggest challenges to making fully self-driving vehicles a reality.
At new research centres in Seattle, Montreal and Plano, Texas, DENSO is innovating new technologies in areas like connectivity and artificial intelligence, further strengthening its R&D structure in North America.
“In order to broadly deliver value to our customers and consumers around the world, we will continue to invest in leading edge R&D and seek new partners and technologies that keep us at the forefront of mobility,” said Kato.
Focusing on emerging areas to enhance mobility
The role of software in auto-related industries is growing more important by the day. That is why DENSO, by 2025, will increase the size of its global software developer team to 12,000 employees, who will develop next-generation software solutions for automotive technologies.
DENSO has also made expanding its software expertise a central focus in its partnerships with startups, venture-capital firms and large corporations as it advances new mobility solutions – both in and outside the automotive industry.
With DENSO’s expansion into software and new domains, such as in new mobility, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and social solutions, it recently announced partnerships with.
“Agile development of software is vital for our customers as new mobility services, and developments outside automotive, continue to rapidly emerge. Our strategic collaborations allow us to act swiftly amid all this change and enable us to take on the biggest problems of today, like pollution, transportation efficiency, health management and mobility access,” said Kenichiro Ito, senior executive officer of DENSO Corporation and chief executive officer of DENSO’s North American headquarters.
Priva is a Michigan-based startup that provides mobile offices for workers on the go.
Goodyear has equipped Priva’s fleet of vehicles with intelligent tyres, which contain sensors to capture tyre data. The sensors allow Goodyear to gather data on the tyres’ current state and work with Priva to predict upcoming tyre maintenance needs, reducing vehicle downtime and enhancing operational efficiency.
“Fleets are looking to operate their vehicles as safely and efficiently as possible to meet the needs of their customers,” said Erin Spring, Goodyear director of New Ventures. “Digital tyre information helps enable this goal by providing proactive information, integrated with their service scheduling needs. Goodyear is pleased to work with innovative partners like Priva, which is focused on the future of transportation, today.”
The pilot with Priva is an example of Goodyear’s ongoing efforts to deliver complete solutions for the future of mobility.
“Predictive maintenance technologies are essential for the safety and reliability of future mobility systems. These technologies underpin commercial aviation and now must migrate into automotive applications,” said Ryan Gee, Priva’s founder and chief executive officer. “Goodyear’s intelligent tyre system is an excellent example of how technology will make mobility safer for everyone, and our team at Priva is excited to collaborate with Goodyear on this endeavour.”
With a computing capacity of two petaFLOPS (floating point operations per second), it performs two quadrillion computing operations per second, thus allowing extensive aerodynamics simulations to be run. ŠKODA AUTO will also use the computing capacity for the development of new safety features and future engines. The capacity of the data centre will increase to 15 petaFLOPS in future, meaning that the number of computing operations will increase to 15 quadrillion per second. The car manufacturer’s data centre ensures the highest level of data security and, thanks to well-thought-out structural solutions, contributes to the consistent and sustainable optimisation of energy usage.
Klaus-Dieter Schürmann, ŠKODA AUTO Board Member for Finance and IT, explained, “By installing the new high-performance computer, ŠKODA AUTO is further expanding the largest commercial computing centre in the Czech Republic. We are thereby continuing to press ahead on our path to becoming a digital company and are creating an important technical prerequisite for maximising the use of current as well as future technologies and thus, for example, making development processes as efficient and economic as possible.”
Klaus Blüm, Head of ŠKODA IT, added, “In 1969, the first mainframe server from IBM started operation at ŠKODA. With our new supercomputer we are now setting benchmarks in IT once again, exactly 50 years later – although this time on a totally different scale. Our new supercomputer features two computer clusters, 1,008 computing nodes and 24,192 processor cores. Overall, this allows us to reach a computing power of two petaFLOPS. This means it is 67 billion times more powerful than ŠKODA AUTO’s first mainframe server.”
The computing power will gradually be increased to 15 petaFLOPS, corresponding to 15 quadrillion computing operations per second and increasing the current data processing speed approximately tenfold. Thus, the ŠKODA data centre will be capable of extremely challenging high-performance computing (HPC) in future. Technical Development and Production will be using the capacities for visualisations, virtual reality presentations and simulations (such as in the further development of topics relating to pedestrian protection), for simulations in aeroacoustics and aerodynamics, and for the further development of the engine portfolio.
In future, the data of connected cars will also be stored at the computing centre; for this, the highest
possible data protection requirements apply. Furthermore, as part of ‘Green Data’, which is an integral
part of the company’s ‘Green Future’ strategy, the office buildings will be heated using the waste heat
generated when cooling the data centre in future, for example.
ŠKODA AUTO’s IT department is one of the largest of its kind in the Czech Republic and ranks among
the fastest growing business areas. The team of experts, which is also responsible for the new data
centre, is constantly scouting for new, talented employees. Currently, there are numerous vacancies
being advertised – ranging from experts in AI to SAP specialists as well as data and business
analysts. Successful applicants can look forward to working in an ultramodern, state-of-the-art work
The strategic investments come at a time of heightened demand for fuel cell technology. The collaboration with industry leading players will enable Hyundai to expand its hydrogen infrastructure and enhance the efficiency of its fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) manufacturing.
“Our investment in these innovative companies will reduce the production cost of FCEVs and enhance the safety and affordability of hydrogen infrastructure,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Hyundai Motor Group. “We hope to accelerate the widespread adoption of hydrogen technology by making FCEVs more accessible for our customers.”
Impact Coatings AB is a leading supplier of PVD-based coating solutions for fuel cells, offering coating materials, machines, and services. The Swedish company’s ceramic coatings are cost-efficient substitutes for precious metals used in fuel cell production. Under the new joint development agreement, Hyundai and Impact Coatings will jointly research and develop a new generation of materials, processes and equipment for a variety of applications, including fuel cells and hydrogen production.
H2Pro is an Israeli startup that developed the E-TAC (electrochemical, thermally active chemical) water splitting technology, which is efficient, affordable, and safe. H2Pro’s technology will allow Hyundai to lower the cost of hydrogen production, which will in turn reduce the price of hydrogen for customers. This marks Hyundai’s second investment into the startup since Hyundai CRADLE Tel Aviv first announced the partnership in November 2018.
GRZ Technologies is a company based in Switzerland specializing in energy storage in hydrogen form. Its technology stores hydrogen more safely at lower pressure with higher density, while its proprietary compression technology is also more affordable. Hyundai’s agreement with GRZ will accelerate the company’s efforts to commercialize hydrogen infrastructure for greater accessibility to customers.
Hyundai Motor is a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. It became the world’s first automaker to commercialize fuel-cell electric vehicles with the introduction of ix35 Fuel Cell (also known as Tucson Fuel Cell) in 2013. Hyundai’s second-generation FCEV, the NEXO, has a range of 414 miles, emits clean water vapour and purifies the air while driving.
New advancements in computerisation and increase of densely packed electric devices have increased the amount of noise in electric vehicles and cars equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). However, evaluation of noise performance of individual boards and systems, and implementing measures against noise are not feasible in isolation during the development phase. This evaluation and measure implementation need to be done after the whole car has been assembled, making the process of optimization against noise a very lengthy and costly process that might require several iterations.
In response, in 2017 ROHM developed Operational Amplifiers using EMARMOUR™, a proprietary technology that features superior noise tolerance and helps to reduce design resources to implement measures against noise. These devices have been well received by automotive manufacturers. To further meet market needs, today ROHM is introducing the first ultra-high noise-tolerant comparators that use the same breakthrough technology.
This series has achieved superior noise tolerance when used as comparators to determine the threshold value of sensor output signals. It ensures an output voltage fluctuation within ±1% across the entire noise frequency band when testing according to the ISO11452-2 standard. Conventional comparators usually have output voltage fluctuations of up to ±20% due to noise, which can lead to malfunctions (High/Low inverted). In contrast, ROHM’s new series is not susceptible to noise, providing greater reliability while reducing system design man-hours by reducing the amount of time needed for noise evaluation and measure implementation that typically require the use of external filters.
ROHM will offer these new comparators as one of the EMARMOUR™ series. ROHM is committed to enabling even simpler designs and greater reliability in automotive systems by expanding this high noise-tolerant technology to other power supply ICs from ROHM.
The company is one of the leaders in the field of “tactile data” and is based in Haifa.
In addition to Porsche, Union Tech Ventures and existing investors are participating in the current investment round. Tactile Mobility plans to use the funds primarily to strengthen its development as well as sales activities and promote the collaboration with other automotive manufacturers, mobility service providers as well as municipalities and road authorities in the US, Europe and Asia.
So-called tactile data simulates a sense of touch. In this process, an algorithm processes data that is provided by different physical sensors which are already available. “Tactile Mobility’s method helps us collect additional information about the condition of vehicles and roads that goes beyond the information that can be obtained with conventional sensor systems,” explained Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche.
An integration into series production cars is planned for the beginning of the next decade. Amongst other use cases, tactile data can further improve the assessment of the friction coefficient between tyres and the road surface while a vehicle is moving. Additional potential for the use of the technology also lies in applications for the predictive servicing and optimisation of the battery management.
In a next development stage, Tactile Mobility’s software can provide data on the vehicle’s condition itself, for example engine and brake efficiency as well as fuel consumption. Consequently, it is possible to draw conclusions on different vehicle components’ state of wear. In this process, the potential applications of tactile data and sensing go beyond individual vehicles as information is analysed in a backend system. Based on this information, the software is able to determine road conditions and quickly identify a change in road surface conditions in order to prepare additional vehicles in the fleet network for such changes, for instance in the event of a slippery road surface.
“We are very excited about the confidence that Porsche has in tactile data and virtual sensor systems,” said Amit Nisenbaum, CEO of Tactile Mobility. “This investment will cement our leadership in this growing segment. By equipping intelligent vehicles with the sense of ‘touch’ and the ability to analyse tactile data, we can contribute to further improve the driving experience and make it even safer.”
However, the generation and analysis of tactile data is not only interesting for automotive manufacturers like Porsche. Municipalities, as well as road authorities can also benefit from this technology by documenting the individual properties of the road. For instance, collected data could help in the planning of road maintenance work or the deployment of salting and snow removal services with maximum efficiency.
This solution is cost-effective and features a compact design, significantly reducing the vehicle space needed as well as the weight of the system.
Leveraging its all-wheel drive (AWD) and coupling expertise and portfolio, BorgWarner created its Torque-Vectoring Dual-Clutch unit, which features two clutches – one inner and one outer – that replace the conventional differential in an electric driveline. Traditional torque-vectoring systems require two e-machines in the rear, which are expensive and heavy, while BorgWarner’s technology conserves weight and space in the driveline, aiding in overall vehicle efficiency.
“Our new Torque-Vectoring Dual-Clutch system, which minimises wasted torque, conserves energy and requires fewer components, exemplifies how our existing internal combustion engine and driveline expertise complements our work with electric vehicles,” said Stefan Demmerle, President and General Manager PowerDrive Systems, BorgWarner. “BorgWarner has the extensive knowledge and expertise that customers need as the industry evolves towards an electrified future.”
Designed to improve electric vehicle handling and manoeuvrability, BorgWarner’s Torque-Vectoring Dual-Clutch commands torque independently, distributing torque to the left and right wheels from its position on the rear axle. The Torque-Vectoring Dual-Clutch, connected to one electric motor and featuring two reversible GenVI actuators (one per clutch), dynamically transfers torque for improved steering response and controllability, delivering a stable, fun-to-drive experience for the customer.
This system has a capacity of up to 2,600 Nm per clutch and has a feature that disconnects the rear-axle when all-wheel drive isn’t needed. The vehicle then operates in front-wheel drive, resulting in reduced losses and increased range for electric vehicles.
Start of production will commence in the first half of 2022 for a major, global OEM’s electric vehicle.