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Hitachi Astemo, Ltd.

We develop the core technologies that will define the future of mobility as well as advanced technologies that contribute to the realization of a sustainable society.

Autonomous Driving

Risk Prediction Mapping Technology Assisting Autonomous Driving Functions for Local Roads

Risk prediction mapping technology is essential for autonomous driving on local roads. This technology predicts collision risks with stationary and moving objects in the driving environment. The technology categorizes stationary and moving objects as "existing risk" and blind spots where objects are undetected as "potential risk".

Since both risks vary as position changes over time, risks are readily predicted by projecting the forward path of the vehicle on a two dimensional map.
As a fundamental feature of this technology, autonomous driving is able to avoid potential risks by predicting risks in real time up to 5 seconds in advance.

Preview Semi-active Suspension Using Stereo Camera-based Road Prole Recognition Technology

To increase safety and convenience, the technology uses appropriate suspension control in response to unevenly shaped road surfaces caused by bumps and potholes. Hitachi leverages its stereo camera to create increasingly accurate measurements as the range shortens and to distinguish large distant obstacles such as vehicles and people to generate a detailed 3D shape of the environment.

A safe and comfortable ride can be achieved by recognizing the road edge and profile in advance, then provide preview suspension control tailored to the 3D shape of the travel path. This technology has already been demonstration in our experiment vehicle equipped with stereo camera and semi-active suspension.

Integrated Control for Vehicles using Electric Actuators offering safety and peace of mind

Designed with the goal of eliminating accidents, autonomous driving/advanced driver assistance systems (AD/ADAS) play an important role in road safety. Continued development and improved comfort are key. This requires vehicle control techniques that ECUs employ for automatic driving to replicate a skilled driver.
Skillful driving requires that the following three requirements be satisfied.

(1) The ECU must maintain sufficient distance from objects to cope with unexpected situations and risks.
(2) The vehicle body must not sway or lurch even when driving on winding roads.
(3) Vehicle speed must be maintained to get passengers to their destination quickly.

To achieve these requirements, Hitachi Astemo is developing dynamic planning algorithms for calculating comfortable vehicle trajectories (including routes and vehicle speeds), high-precision vehicle control (HPVC) to accurately follow the resulting trajectories, and a variety of actuators to realize this vehicle control. By integrating these technologies controlled in a single ECU, we will supply automotive systems that deliver safe and comfortable driving and contribute towards the goal of zero accidents.

xEV, Engine Systems

Invention of mold sealing structure for high-precision air flow sensors

The air flow sensor controls the fuel injection system. Information on the amount of air passing through the intake pipe is transmitted to the engine control unit (ECU) based on the operating conditions of the engine where fuel injection is optimized to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 and other gas emissions.

The air flow sensor is composed of a part of the semiconductor element by resin sealing while exposing the flow rate detector of a thin number of μm. Conventional potting can result in problemswith the measurement accuracy in the resin encapsulation. However, the mold resin can be used to create a seal, but the flow rate detector can crack when sealed by the mold resin. Mold resin can then flow into the flow rate detector causing defections.

In response, Hitachi Astemo’s award winning patented technology addresses this with (1) prevention of flow rate detector cracks and (2) a slide die technology that prevents resin flow to the flow rate detector. This prevents contact with the flow rate detector (installation of slide die supported by a spring, providing space for slide die) and the mold sealing technology with the installation of the elastic film prevents the resin from flowing to the flow rate detector. By sealing molded resin in this way we enable the air flow sensor with high measurement accuracy compared with the conventional and improve the dimensional accuracy around the flow rate detector.

Hitachi’s innovation is based integrating and advancing its semiconductor mold encapsulation technology cultivated for more than 40 years from DRAM production in the 1970s, and automotive mold encapsulation technology with complex shapes.

xEV System Simulation Technology

For vehicles driven by electric motors, quietness is a valued product characteristic, and vibration control is key.

In order to evaluate vibration during the design phase, we have developed the technology that models the electrical characteristics of the motor and inverter which is linked to the controls in order to analyze the electromagnetic force.
makes it possible to conduct an analysis of vibration, replicating an environment close to that of an actual vehicle.

Technologies for a Smaller Case and Lighter Weight Package

We have developed an inverter designed especially for compact hybrid vehicles.

We have made several advances that offer many benets including reduced size, an all-in-one intelligent power module that combines current sensors with additional functionality, the adoption of an RC-IGBT and more sophisticated control functions for a more compact power semiconductor device, and the use of new control technologies in the voltage control unit (VCU). We have also installed an on-board DC-DC converter for higher performance.

RC-IGBT: Reverse Conducting-Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor

All-in-one intelligent power module

Traditional intelligent power modules combine a high-power main circuit and gate driver with voltage detection, but our latest technology enables higher performance by adding a control feature that regulates gate drive status based on commands from the upper-level ECU as well as a current detection feature that monitors current output. On the hardware side, we make full use of compact circuit board technologies and other advances to combine the functionality of nine separate components into a single intelligent power module.

Advanced Chassis

Electrification of braking solutions

Braking solutions began their transformation with the wide spread adoption of Automated Parking Brakes (APB) and is now accelerating with CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric) technologies:

  • Electric vehicles and regenerative braking require further braking system electrification
  • Automated vehicles result in additional safety requirements and system redundancies

Traditional hydraulic brake systems are being gradually replaced:
Step 1: Electrification of parking brake function, Automated Parking Brake (APB)
Step 2: Electrification of brake boost function, e-Actuation / Electric Servo Brake
Step 3: Full electrification of the brake System, Smart Brake System / fully "dry" Brake-by-Wire System

Step 3 will be a system optimized to support the future needs of electric vehicles and autonomous driving and a technological breakthrough for braking.

The Smart Brake system includes four electromechanical brakes and brake control software.
Its main functions are to act as the service and parking brake.
This advanced actuator technology allows high performance of Vehicle Integrated Control (vehicle stability control) required for with steering and active suspension.

It supports the centralization of the vehicle’s Electronic and Electrical (EE) architecture by simplifying the vehicle’s brake system infrastructure by removing the hydraulic network and the transfer of intelligence to the wheel.
Additional benefits include weight reduction, improved EV range, reduced stopping distance and simplified control.

The Smart Brake system and its interfaces include redundancies to ensure a safe braking operation, even in case of failure. The integration of the electronics at the wheel is a major innovation. It will be an enabler for safety improvements as well as value-added features for future autonomous and shared vehicles.
A specially-fitted demonstration vehicle equipped with the Smart Brake system was unveiled with success at the Winter Test 2019 in Sweden.

APB:Automated Parking Brakes

Steering-Suspension Coordinated Control

This is an advanced technology that improves cornering agility and stability without compromising ride comfort by exchanging information between the EPS (electric power steering) and IECAS (electronic control damper). The system sends signals from the EPS to IECAS, which controls the vehicle's position by individually adjusting the damping force of the four dampers during steering operation, thereby improving the vehicle's agility while cornering. Signals from the EPS are sent to IECAS, which control the vehicle attitude by adjusting the damping force of the four dampers individually during steering operation, thereby improving agility during cornering. In addition, the stability of the vehicle is improved by sending vehicle status signals from the IECAS to the EPS to compensate for changes in the EPS operating force due to vehicle characteristics during steering.

1. ESP signal → IECAS Control :Synchronize roll pitch → Improved nimbleness and sense of unity in the early stages of turning
2. IEDAS signal → EPS control : Correct EPS steering force from virtual SAT → Steering stability under transient steering

Next Generation Motorcycle

Electronic-control Technologies for Motorcycles "SHOWA EERA"

To improve the riding experience for all riders regardless of their purpose, physique, and riding conditions, we have developed electronically controlled hydraulic valves specic to the damping characteristics required by motorcycle dampers.

Our newly developed electronically controlled hydraulic valve makes the existing conventional damper electronically controllable without affecting its basic performance. In addition, we develop the original ECU and the logic and software to control the ECU.

EERA: Electronically Equipped Ride Adjustment
IMU: Inertial Measurement Unit
FI: Fuel Injection
TPS: Throttle Position Sensor

Demonstration Tests for a Variety of Driving Environments

Products for automobiles and motorcycles are required to fully demonstrate their performance in a wide variety of environments, including different weather and road conditions. We conduct multiple demonstration tests at various in-house facilities and improve the reliability of installed products and systems to meet the diversifying needs of the market. We improve the quality of the sensitivity using actual vehicles and improve our development system.

Main facilities

Tokachi (Hokkaido)

Asahikawa (Hokkaido)

Shioya (Tochigi)

Sawa (Ibaraki)