Tier 1s Tout Newest Mobility Tech at CES 2020

ZF’s new coASSIST automated-driving system was designed to offer safety and comfort benefits at reasonable cost.

The mammoth annual techfest formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show has become a must-attend for the mobility industry, with dozens of displays by OEMs and suppliers of all dimensions. At this year’s CES, Automotive Engineering was impressed by new developments in ADAS and AV sensing and processing, V2X connectivity, vehicle cabin sensing and related technologies, electrification advances and a number of vehicle introductions. Highlights of our reporting include:

ZF coASSIST Level 2+ driving system

Visteon’s microZone display is claimed to outperform traditional LCDs.

ZF has carved out space between SAE Levels 2 and 3 that Christophe Marnat, executive VP for the Electronics and Advanced Driver Assist Systems division calls “Level 2+.” The company said it believes focusing on advanced ADAS is the most pragmatic and cost-effective approach to delivering semi-automated driving in the early part of this decade. Already in the pipeline for production with an Asian OEM late this year (as a 2021 model offering), the new coASSIST Level 2+ system’s sensor suite is based on cameras and radar, with a central controller featuring Mobileye’s power-efficient EyeQ5 ‘system on a chip’ (SoC) capable of up to 15 trillion operations per second, but drawing just 5-6 watts.

AE test-drove a ZF demonstration vehicle on Nevada highways during CES and was impressed by coASSIST’s fidelity in executing hands-off-the-steering-wheel lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control. ZF engineers claim coASSIST will meet all Euro NCAP 2024 requirements, adding that the system will be priced less than $1,000 per unit. Follow-on versions of the system will include ZF’s new Gen21 medium-range radar.

Bosch AI-enhanced Driver Monitoring

Bosch unveiled a new cabin-monitoring system that the company indicated could enter production in 2022. It is aimed at potential EU regulation requiring driver-drowsiness and distraction warnings which are key to vehicle operational safety and SAE Level 3 driver-handoff performance. The system uses two cameras and artificial intelligence/machine learning. One camera is integrated into the steering wheel; it monitors the driver’s eyes for signs of eyelid fluttering or off-road distraction. The other camera, mounted within the rearview-mirror module, keeps check of the entire cabin.

Artificial intelligence-based algorithms learn from the camera inputs and driver behavior to signal warnings as well as reduce vehicle velocity if needed.

Continental “transparent hood”

Look ma, no hood—or engine! Conti’s transparent hood technology offers enhanced off-road confidence for 4x4 utilities.

Currently in production in Europe, Conti’s “see through the hood” technology is based on a cleverly arranged and integrated camera array. At slow vehicle speeds, particularly during parking maneuvers or in off-road driving, the cameras and Conti-developed image processor, along with inputs from chassis sensors, deliver a screen image that looks like the hood and front end of the vehicle have disappeared, showing only the ground underneath. We can see this technology being useful across vehicle segments, to help drivers negotiate both tight parking confines and off-road trails.

Valeo SpotLocate

Valeo, in partnership with Hyundai and Hexagon Positioning Intelligence, unveiled technology that brings centimeter-level precision to on-road vehicle positioning in real time. Valeo engineers claim the SpotLocate system is ten times more precise than typical GPS for determining lane positioning. The system uses a combination of existing on-board and infrastructure technologies, including Valeo’s automotive-grade telematics controller with built-in cybersecurity.

The system also includes Hexagon Positioning Intelligence’s TerraStar X technology that corrects the GPS signal received by the vehicle through a cellular broadcast channel. It also uses stationary receivers that are part of localized infrastructure.

Hyundai is handling systems integration including map display at the vehicle level. Valeo claims SpotLocate will make urban traffic flow more efficiently in SAE Level 2 through 5 driving applications. At CES Valeo also showed its Drive4U Locate dynamic mapping that uses lidar sensing and cloud-based data management.

Visteon microZone display

With a claimed power consumption similar to that of incumbent LCD technology, Visteon’s microZone display tech brings graphics performance that is superior to traditional LCD displays, the company announced at CES. The patent-pending high-dynamic range (HDR) display technology offers a minimum contrast ratio of 100,000:1, with 600 candelas-per-square-meter brightness. A wide color gamut (75-85% of the National Television System Committee color space) brings in-vehicle display visual quality to parity with consumer mobile devices Visteon claims, but with automotive-level robustness.