Autonomous-Driving Devices Up The Stakes

Making some noise at the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), lighting and electronics company HELLA will display technologies that enable higher levels of autonomous driving and provide OEMs and drivers with the freedom to create more customized vehicles. The company will showcase its multifunctional structural health and knock emission (SHAKE) sensor and innovations in car body lighting design as well as other autonomous vehicle advancements.


Building upon existing camera and radar systems that provide vehicles the ability to "see" the environment around them, HELLA's SHAKE sensor gives cars an opportunity to "feel" their surroundings, opening the door for new detection functions. The sensor was recently upgraded to recognize structure-borne sound waves generated by contact or knocks on the vehicle body through a piezoelectric foil. Upon analyzing the sounds, the sensor gives manufacturers the choice of executing up to three detection functions in a single solution.

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The SHAKE technology's three optional functions are:

  • Intelligent Damage Detection: detects the severity, time and place of vehicle damage, including scratches, dents and paint damage. It then records the incidents to create damage reports for owners and mobility companies, who may use autonomous vehicles in car-sharing applications. 
  • Adaptive Impact Detection: uses two sensors, located on the front and rear of vehicles, to detect the slightest touches of cars or pedestrians to the vehicle's bumpers at speeds up to approximately 12 mph. The sensors also can trigger a signal to stop vehicles to prevent further damage, and detect contact and perform an emergency stop if any collision with obstructions occurs during parking.
  • Smart Touch Detection: offers drivers individual convenience and safety features by allowing them to control autonomous vehicles with the touch of their hand.  

Beyond sensors, lighting solutions are growing in importance for both autonomous vehicle safety and design. HELLA's exterior lighting components, including headlamps, rear combination lamps and daytime running lights, present additional performance and styling options to OEMs. On HELLA's NAIAS demo vehicle, attendees will be able to witness its welcome lighting technologies, as well as how lights can project graphics onto the ground, among other functions. For more details, go to HELLA.

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