This ground-breaking vision system developed by Ficosa, also known as CMS (Camera Monitoring System), is made up of cameras and displays that replace the traditional external side mirrors, providing a new driving experience that is safer, more efficient and more comfortable. This vision system is comprised of two cameras, integrated into the sides of the car's chassis, and two tactile displays inside the doors.
The launch of an automobile with the exterior digital rear-view system is a milestone in the automotive industry. In this regard, the Audi e-tron is expected to hit the market in late 2018.
In the words of Javier Pujol, CEO of Ficosa: "Rear-view systems are Ficosa's core business, so being the first to launch a CMS to the European market is a turning point in our technological transformation process. In this way, we've not only proven our ability to take advantage of our know-how in vision but we've also blazed the trail, being the first to reach this accomplishment that will revolutionise the automotive industry."
Through this vision system, the cameras – which are attached to the vehicle using folding wings – send a very low-latency image signal to the two tactile 7-inch OLED displays inside the vehicle. Thanks to the tactile display, users will be able to manually adjust the cameras.
The digital rear-view mirror also significantly improves the driving experience and safety of the vehicle, offering users multiple advantages such as a broader field of vision, no blind spots, more efficient fuel use by improving the vehicle's aerodynamics, no glare and better night-time vision, among others.
The system also includes advanced functions like automatic camera calibration to properly adapt to any situation or warnings that appear dynamically over the image to give the driver information, such as alerts of other vehicles nearby before overtaking. Furthermore, the CMS also enables the detection of anything that could obstruct the system or get it dirty.
The cameras also come with high dynamic range (HDR) sensor with LED flicker mitigation technology developed by Omnivision Technologies. This sensor mitigates flickering to ensure outstanding image quality under any lighting or temperature conditions.
CMS also transforms the current image of the cars, changing the appearance of the inside and outside of the vehicle and offering up new design options.
The digital rear-view system has been developed by Ficosa's ADAS Business Unit and is manufactured at the Viladecavalls Technology Centre (Spain), while the wings supporting the cameras on the outside of the vehicle have been manufactured at the Wolfenbüttel Centre (Germany). More than 90 engineers specialised in fields like optics, software and hardware, have worked on the CMS project.
For more than ten years, Ficosa has been devoting great efforts to researching and developing the digital rear-view system, evolving prototypes until reaching a product for mass production with better features than traditional rear-view mirrors.
"The new premises and the overall strategic extension of our production and testing capacity in the Rychvald plant clearly illustrate how important the North Moravian region is for our company," said Todd C. Morgan, Senior Vice President, Global product Development. "Our investments influence our future competitiveness and prosperity, and it is important to innovate and use the full potential of new technologies."
The hall, Varroc's fifth in the Rychvald plant, will feature cutting-edge technologies and boost the company's ability to manufacture more efficiently and service production lines more rapidly.
"The hall will produce both rear lamps and smart headlamps with LED and Matrix technologies known as Adaptive Driving Beam. Once all production lines are on with the full production range, we should achieve the total output of up to 1 million lamps a year in a matter of months," said Radim Černý, Rychvald Operations Director.
Once production is at full capacity, the facility will feature five lines, including fully automated injection moulding machines, hard coat lines for UV protection, and lamp assembly lines. Other features of the new facility include:
Predictive equipment maintenance technologies
Advanced material flow monitoring and intelligent logistics management equipment
Energy efficient lighting and duct system and waste heat recovery system
High-quality photometric hall equipped with the latest goniometer
Operational optimization is aligned with Varroc Excellence System strategy
The total number of employees in the company's Rychvald facilities will rise to approximately 800 when the new hall is fully operational, solidifying Varroc's position as a key employer in the Moravian region. Positions in the new hall will include a variety of technical positions, including roles for experts and individuals with higher levels of education.
In the commercial vehicle space, power sources are increasingly becoming more diverse and emissions regulations continue to grow more stringent around the world. Significant investment will be required to deliver the best next generation diesel and natural gas based powertrain solutions as well as alternative powertrains, connectivity and autonomy that end customers demand. Collaboration and strategic partnerships will be essential to share increased investment costs and win in the market.
"Isuzu is a leading global company with a reputation for excellence in trucks, powertrains and customer service" said Tom Linebarger, Chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc. "Our companies share a commitment to technology leadership, quality and dependability for our customers, and global reach. We also share common values in the way we do business and how we treat our people, our customers, and our partners. Cummins is honored to be working with Isuzu and to explore how to leverage our respective strengths to create new opportunities for both companies."
For nearly 100 years each, Isuzu and Cummins have been leaders in technology innovation with a broad global reach in complementary regions of the world. Together the companies believe there may be opportunities to benefit from each other's unique strengths resulting in growth for both companies.
Each company has committed to assign a team of individuals over the next few months to explore potential opportunities in product technology development, service and other areas of collaboration with the potential for a longer-term partnership for the next generation of diesel and natural gas based internal combustion powertrains as well as new powertrain technologies such as electrification.
Diesel engines continue to be the power leader for the foreseeable future in commercial vehicle and off-highway markets and such long-term partnership would enable both companies to grow globally.
The new factory, which includes an integrated logistics centre, will manufacture and locally supply Sika's full range of acoustic treatments and body structural products for the growing number of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) assembly and component makers located in the country. The Mexican subsidiary of Faist ChemTec, acquired by Sika at the start of 2018, will also be integrated into the new facility.
The Mexican automotive market has grown by 25% in the last four years, and an estimated four million vehicles will be produced in the country in 2018. This growth is being driven by the significant number of key players in the OEM market who are investing in increasing production capacity. Mexico is a top automotive manufacturing location and will soon become the sixth largest car manufacturer in the world – catching up with South Korea.
The megatrends in vehicle manufacturing and sustainability demand to reduce emissions, lead to a requirement for high strength bonding systems that produce lighter, stronger, safer, quieter, and greener vehicles, all of which can be achieved with the aid of Sika products.
Today, more than 50 million vehicles produced worldwide are built every year using Sika's adhesives, reinforcer systems, and acoustic treatments. The company's high performing SikaBaffle, SikaDamp, and SikaReinforcer technologies are used extensively in the vehicle assembly process for acoustic sealing and damping applications to reduce airborne and structure borne noise levels in vehicles, and to structurally reinforce vehicle body shells and components for enhanced crash durability.
Thomas Hasler, Head Industry at Sika: "Our location in Querétaro is strategically located in the middle of the customer network we support in Mexico. This means we are close to the many vehicle and component manufacturing facilities already established in Mexico, as well as the new plants coming on line. As the market grows, so do we, continually adding value and support for our customers. The site is also home to one of our large construction materials plants, which gives the added advantage of a shared infrastructure and logistics network."
Magna's complete vehicle engineering and manufacturing group and Altran, a global leader in engineering and R&D services, each hold 50% of the joint-venture company.
The joint venture – located in Casablanca, Morocco, under the name MG2 – brings together Magna's complete vehicle know-how and process competence and Altran's strengths as a locally established partner. Approximately 500 engineers from the two companies will initially staff the joint venture.
"Magna is able to further strengthen its competitive position by offering world-class engineering services in Morocco through this joint venture with Altran. The availability of strong engineering talent, proximity to Europe and growing OEM presence make Morocco an ideal location for this new engineering centre," said Karl Friedrich-Stracke, President Fahrzeugtechnik & Engineering Magna Steyr.
Morocco, 14 km south of the European continent, offers a low-cost base to produce vehicles for export to Europe. The country has a stated goal of building one million vehicles per year by 2025 and has been successful in attracting automakers and investment in new production plants to achieve that goal.
"Altran is thrilled to be moving forward with Magna to offer end-to-end development capabilities for the automotive industry, including design, manufacturing and system development, thus covering the complete value chain," said Meryem Chami, CEO, Altran Morocco.
The UK-headquartered global leader in driveline systems will also supply constant velocity joints (CVJs), sideshaft systems and propshafts to over half of all of the new production cars making their show debuts at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre.
GKN Driveline's lightweight, efficient and refined sideshaft systems will underpin a raft of all-new and refreshed models, including a hotly-anticipated sports car, three premium saloon cars, and five new SUVs. Elsewhere, front and rear sideshafts also deliver the power for an exciting high-performance hatchback as well as an all-new luxury grand tourer.
GKN Driveline's range of solutions are designed to cater for every type of application. Some joints, such as the SX family, are particularly well suited to vehicles that require high levels of joint articulation during normal driving conditions.
Elsewhere, propshaft ball joints, such as the PX family, are more focussed on durability and thermal performance – ideal for SUVs and trucks, where the installation angles of the joints (and therefore the levels of internal friction) are higher.
Two all-new electric cars at the Paris Motor Show will also be equipped with GKN Driveline's front and rear sideshaft systems. While the latest electrified vehicles are changing the nature of the automobile as we know it, conventional driveshaft and CVJ systems are still required, regardless of the powertrain – and GKN Driveline is poised to thrive from the shift in the market.
Saving weight within the driveline is also helping automakers to increase the range of their EVs. GKN Driveline's Countertrack technology made significant improvements in this regard when it was first introduced in 2009, and the concept has been refined ever since. The counter-running ball tracks – hence the name – made it possible to reduce internal friction and heat, and reduce the overall weight of the joint by up to 15% compared to a conventional unit.
With a comprehensive global footprint, GKN works with over 90% of the world's car manufacturers, and its evolving technology has featured on more than nine billion vehicles around the world.