The automotive industry has been very successful in developing passive safety systems that help to manage the amount of energy involved in a crash, said Michael Gassen, president, Delphi Europe. To further advance road safety, however, we must work collectively to reduce the severity of crashes, or eliminate them altogether. Delphi's innovative active safety systems help to increase traffic safety and protect the lives of people on the road.
Delphi's newest sensor fusion product — RACam — is an integrated RADAR and Camera system that enables a suite of active safety systems including full speed range adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlamp control, traffic sign recognition, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and autonomous braking, which automatically slows the vehicle to a stop in situations where the driver does not react to a hazard ahead. The single- box system is being highlighted at IAA and is expected to be on the roads in 2014.
The fusion of RADAR and camera into one intelligent module provides a sophisticated analysis of the road scene while moving the radar out of the vehicle's crush zone, explains Mike Thoeny, global engineering director of Delphi's Electronic Controls product business unit. The technology allows the vehicle to respond with appropriate action such as automatically applying the brakes to avoid a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian when the driver doesn't.
Delphi's latest camera and radar technology development helps to eliminate the expense of multiple safety systems. At RACam's core is Delphi's electronically scanning radar. ESR makes it possible to provide mid and long range sensing with a single radar. And, with RACam, for the first time, radar sensing, vision sensing and substantial computing power are integrated in a single, compact module that can be mounted on the windscreen side of the rear view mirror. Separate radar systems are traditionally mounted behind the vehicle's front grille, but RACam's size makes it possible to locate the radar away from crush zone, helping to reduce repair costs following a frontal impact.
Since accidents aren't restricted to front of the vehicle, Delphi's Rear and Side Detection System (RSDS) will help alert drivers of approaching vehicles that may be difficult to detect in side-view mirrors. The system uses high-performance, globally accepted compact 76GHz radar, providing superior long and short range performance, target discrimination and improved range calculation when compared to 24GHz units. RSDS is scheduled for production during 2012.
But it's not just vehicle occupants that can be affected in an automotive accident. With an increase in hybrid and electric vehicles and their near silent operation, especially at low speed, pedestrian and cyclist safety has become a priority. Because these vehicles are so quiet, other road users may not hear them. This has prompted emerging government regulations regarding the need for sounds that electric vehicles must generate to alert pedestrians of their presence.
Delphi has developed a vehicle sounder solution that is lighter, substantially lower cost and consumes less power than conventional multi-box solutions. The new sounder can be mounted under the bonnet and integrated with other vehicle systems such as the vehicle alarm or battery charging system. Capable of reproducing melodies that represent vehicle identity and sounds that indicate the need for specific driver action, Delphi's vehicle sounder will be on Europe's roads next year.
While Delphi continues to develop a myriad of safety innovations, the company offers substantial value by applying integration expertise, as demonstrated by its Delphi's MyFi family of connected infotainment products. Connecting with safety, MyFi systems can help mitigate driver distraction while addressing the increasing connectivity requirements of consumers. Currently in production in Europe, MyFi system availability is rapidly expanding to other regions of the world.
As automakers continue to add features like RACam and MyFi, suppliers are also tasked with safely managing electrical power. Delphi's Battery Electrical Center (BEC) offers integrated monitoring and circuit protection along with a highly accurate rating of the systems' health system, a pyrotechnic disconnect device for collision protection and several high current protection devices for auxiliary loads. For vehicle systems operating at high voltages, such as hybrid and electric vehicles, Delphi's High Voltage Interlock (HVIL) prevents dangerous arcing that could occur if the connectors are pulled apart too quickly. This system detects the separation and transmits a signal to the control computer, which automatically disables the power supply.