DENSO Corporation is delivering a number of the key components behind Advanced Drive – the advanced driver assistance technology featured on the new Lexus LS and Toyota Mirai, which have both just been released in Japan this April.
DENSO is supplying a lidar for detecting the shapes of surrounding vehicles and roads; a locator telescopic camera for detecting the environment ahead of the vehicle; a spatial information service electronic control unit (SIS ECU) for accurately identifying the position of the vehicle itself; and an automated driving system electronic control unit (ADS ECU) and automated driving extension electronic control unit (ADX ECU) for the high-speed processing of information delivered by each of the products.
The SIS ECU, ADS ECU, and ADX ECU also support over-the-air software updates, which will enable both manufacturers to expand the functionality and improve the performance of Advanced Drive long after vehicles are sold to users.
DENSO’s new products support a system, Advanced Drive, which assists driving when driving on an expressway or other motor-vehicle-only roadway. With the Advanced Drive, by setting the destination in the navigation system, the onboard system will appropriately detect the situation, make decisions and assist driving under the driver’s supervision according to actual traffic conditions. It can keep the vehicle in its lane, maintain the distance from other vehicles, navigate a lane split, change lanes and overtake other vehicles until leaving the roadway for the destination.
Lidar and the locator telescopic camera are able to detect large areas with high accuracy: both products can detect more than 200m ahead of a vehicle. Long-range detection has been attained by increasing the output of the laser beam and the sensitivity of the beam-receiving sensor, according to the Japanese company. A flat mirror is used for scanning to detect a wider angle. The locator telescopic camera is equipped with two types of cameras, one for short distance and the other for long distance. It is characterized by a long imaging distance and a large number of pixels, which increases accuracy. The detection angle of the long-distance camera is narrowed to increase the number of pixels, producing clear distant images.
The SIS ECU provides information about the position of one’s own vehicle and the driving course ahead, making it a key part of the advanced driver assistance technology. The new product can obtain accurate information on vehicle position in combination with position information from high-precision map data, GNSS and camera recognition information.
The ADS ECU and ADX ECU rapidly process information from sensors, such as lidar and cameras, monitoring the situation around the vehicle. To make this possible, it is necessary to obtain information from sensors in real time and process it in milliseconds. The new products have multiple system on chips (SoCs) and microcomputers that achieve at least double the processing performance compared with conventional in-vehicle ECUs.