IAA: Self-Driving Seats, Valet Autonomous Parking, Kid-Detecting Apps, ADAS Cleaning & Mazda Models

More announcements from IAA in Frankfurt include special seats with safety belts for autonomous cars, new battery housing, ADAS cleaning solutions, valet self-parking from Continental, Mazda’s new line and child-detecting app via smartphones.

 Self-Driving Special Safety Belts

At the IAA, Adient is displaying seat structures that have an integrated safety belt, as well as other safety technologies that respond to these challenges to improve passenger safety in new seat positions. The safety belt is integrated into the seat and not mounted on the B or C column as is now the norm. In addition, the safety belt has an improved construction. This is necessary because the new passenger positions can transfer changed loads and patterns of movement to the belt system.

“With the integrated restraint system, we can offer automakers a solution to ensure a high level of passenger safety even with changed seating layouts,” says Juerss. “In current vehicle models the integrated seat belt system is used primarily for free-standing business seats in the premium segment. However, with this technology we are now prepared to meet new safety requirements for autonomous driving. Together with Autoliv, we are working on new efficient safety systems for this evolving environment.”

AI18 Self-Driving Seat Configuration

In its AI18 concept for autonomous vehicles, Adient has taken into account improved passenger safety. The front seats of the concept include an integrated seatbelt concept to hold the safety belt in the right position in different usage scenarios. For the interior’s 180-degree-rotatable passenger seat, Adient development engineers have developed an integrated airbag concept that can be triggered both forwards and backwards, depending on the seat position. In the case of an imminent collision, the seats will have an automatic fast-adjustment system that can be coupled to predictive assistance systems. The established ISOFIX restraint system also effectively includes children’s seats in the safety equipment of autonomous vehicles.

New Battery Housing

Röchling has designed a groundbreaking concept for multifunctional battery housings that protect the heart of electric vehicles in the event of a crash. Using Stratura®Hybrid, the company’s latest innovation in low weight reinforced thermoplastics (LWRT), the lightweight housings exhibit excellent acoustic characteristics and crash performance by absorbing the energy released in a collision without breaking or splintering. In addition, the added aluminum layers within the Stratura Hybrid material result in superior electromagnetic compatibility, meaning that the vehicle’s sophisticated electric systems are effectively shielded from potentially harmful magnetic fields. Thus, Röchling’s concept for battery housings allows different electric components of current and future electric and hybrid systems to work together in harmony.

Cleaning of ADAS Cameras Röchling Automotive has teamed up with Helbako to develop the Advanced Active Cleaning System (AACS)

This approach showcases how an intelligent, integrated control system can efficiently target different zones of the vehicle’s exterior with cleaning fluid. In addition to sensors for highly automated and autonomous driving, this also includes the conventional parts that might need cleaning, such as the headlights and the front and rear windshields. This digital concept offers a rapid response as well as controlled fluid dosage, precise pressure regulation of the pump and an overriding Master Cleaning Management. Also, special attention was given to keeping energy consumption low during development in order to strain the car’s power supply as little as possible.

To supply the different zones with exactly the amount of water they need, the AACS is able to regulate the flow rates individually. An integrated thermal management optimizes the water temperature for additional benefits, such as higher water availability and enhanced cleaning effect. This means that less water has to be used and the tank lasts longer on a single filling.

In addition, the system monitors the liquid level within the tank using an integrated sensor. This allows it to intelligently prioritize the different zones based on their importance for safety and supply them accordingly. In this way, the AACS enables the highest possible driving safety while also enhancing comfort – the driver only has a single water tank to refill.

Autonomous Self-Driving Parking

 A valet parking service can usually be found in front of hotels, airports and restaurants as well as at events and some parking garages, where drivers hand their keys over to an attendant at the entrance. The attendant then finds a parking space, parks the car and brings it back to the transfer point for collection. The technology company Continental has developed an automated solution, which makes it possible for the car itself to perform valet parking.
At IAA, Continental is showing how this works in a real vehicle at its location in Frankfurt. The driver leaves the car at a transfer point in front of the parking garage and activates Valet Parking. The vehicle then drives through the barrier automatically, finds a free parking space and parks. When the driver presses a button on their mobile phone, the car returns to the transfer point automatically.

The development of Valet Parking involves two stages. As the first step, the vehicle navigates independently, detects free parking spaces and parks fully autonomously on the first floor of a parking garage. Pedestrians and other vehicles crossing its path are detected and the driving strategy is adapted dynamically. Over the course of further development, the system will also be provided with the ability to navigate up and down ramps to other levels. “The Valet Parking function can already be used today because it would be possible to reserve the first floor of a parking garage for automated parking,” continued Eckert.

An adaptable system

In the case of the basic scenario demonstrated for Valet Parking, the system communicates wirelessly with the entry barrier meaning that the driver does not have to worry about a thing. For this purpose, a certain communication infrastructure is needed in the area of the barrier to make access and calculation of the time parked an automatic process. This technology is already available in parking garages, where it is used in the form of a radio frequency identification system (RFID) for parking permit holders. As this system is not currently available across the board, the Valet Parking function can also be configured so that the transfer point is behind the barrier. “In this case, the driver still gets their ticket manually, drives through the barrier, exits the car and then hands the rest of the parking procedure over to the vehicle,” explained Benedikt Lattke, project leader for driver assistance systems and automation in the Advanced Technology department of the Chassis & Safety division. The car also drives up to the exit barrier accordingly at a later point so that the driver can pay the parking ticket.

Valet Parking was developed in such a way that a vehicle can find a parking space regardless of the infrastructure in the parking garage. No other changes or investments, such as cameras or contact barriers, are required in the parking garage. The demo vehicle detects its surroundings using four short-range radar sensors, four surround-view cameras and a forward-facing mono camera. The vehicle uses the sensor data and a digital map to determine its exact position in the parking garage and navigate fully automated. As things currently stand and depending on the customer, this sensor-based approach of the Valet Parking function with ramp navigation is expected to be possible by 2022. “The system can also process information from the parking garage and, as a result, drive to a free space,” said Lattke.

Precise parking even in tight parking spaces

Another feature of the Valet Parking function is precise parking, which already only requires about 10 cm of space from the edge of the exterior mirrors on both sides of the vehicle. “As the driver no longer has to exit the parked vehicle, the often narrow parking spaces in parking garages can be put to better use,” said Lattke. Furthermore, Continental expects this precision parking to continue to improve in the future.

Elektrobit (EB), an independent subsidiary of Continental, known for its expertise in developing software modules and algorithms for highly-automated vehicles, will showcase the capabilities of its software in a separate parking demo. The demo uses EB robinos software framework and cloud connectivity to obtain information about available parking spots, enable the vehicle to park itself and precisely maneuver into even the tightest spots. Automated Valet Parking will revolutionize the parking experience by connecting to and responding to the parking garage infrastructure and therefore optimizing traffic flow. Using information from the infrastructure provided via the cloud, the vehicle can receive its trajectory, find the assigned parking spot, and park the vehicle automatically.

Mazda New European Line

Mazda is exhibiting its full European model range in Frankfurt at the 67th International Motor Show (IAA).

Highlights of the Japanese carmaker’s exhibit at the Messe Frankfurt trade fair grounds (hall 9, stand B16) include the all-new Mazda CX-5, which is available with the latest version of the SKYACTIV-G 2.5. The company now offers the powerful high-compression petrol engine with a new cylinder deactivation system. It works by controlling valve movement to seamlessly shut down two of the engine’s four cylinders under light load conditions (e.g. constant speed cruising), reducing pumping losses and significantly improving fuel economy.

Alongside the CX-5 are the popular Mazda CX-3, a B-SUV, the Mazda2 supermini, Mazda3 compact, Mazda6 flagship and of course the “ND” Mazda MX-5, which is available as a soft-top roadster or as the retractable fastback RF.

All are dressed in Mazda’s award-winning KODO designs, conveying strength, stability and good times behind the wheel. And all are built around SKYACTIV Technology, the company’s line-up of powertrains, platforms and other innovations that take a decidedly unconventional approach to enhancing performance, efficiency and safety.

What makes Mazda unique is its quest to deliver Jinba Ittai, the car-and-driver-as-one-body sensation, in every model. Originating with the first-generation MX-5 launched in 1989, Jinba Ittai has since spawned numerous advancements at Mazda. Examples include the carmaker’s human-centred philosophy, meaning that every aspect of every vehicle is developed to deliver the best possible experience to the driver and occupants. Mazda’s never-ending pursuit of enhancement has brought a number of cleverly dynamic systems to its current vehicle generation, such as G-Vectoring Control, which enhances wheel grip, handling and safety, the
i-ACTIV AWD intelligent all-wheel drive system, and the i-ACTIVSENSE range of advanced active safety technology.

New App Detects Kids’ GPS

Children are especially vulnerable road users – mostly due to lack of attention or drivers not seeing children near the car until it is too late. This is all set to change with the Schutzranzen app develop by Coodriver: For the first time, drivers will be alerted to children nearby before they even enter their field of vision.

The technical principle is as simple as it is compelling: The location of children and drivers is automatically identified via smartphone or GPS tracker and sent in encrypted form to the Schutzranzen system. If a child comes within a certain distance of the car, the driver receives an acoustic and optical warning – even if the child is not yet visible.

Unlike other cloud-based systems, Coodriver uses the computing power and sensor technology of the smartphone to calculate position, determine whether an object is moving or stationary and, in the future, also predict movement patterns. In this way, Coodriver creates an Anonymous Digital Position (ADP) of the most vulnerable road users.

Intelligent use of smartphone as sensor for environment monitoring – valuable addition to existing assistance systems. It features Global Drive Level Certification first integration into cars via MirrorLink.

The Coodriver APD also bridges an important gap in the field of environment monitoring, since existing laser or radar-based systems rely on visibility and are vulnerable to weather conditions. “A digital position is unaffected by rain or shine,” added Hildebrandt.