Detroit — Magneti Marelli SpA is finding a balance between the required functionality of advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous vehicles, while still maintaining design aesthetics and lighting performance through its Smart Corner concept.
With Smart Corner, the Tier 1 auto supplier, which is headquartered in Corbetta, Italy, is integrating cameras, sensors, radar and lidar into projector headlamps and taillights. The concept allows automakers to incorporate the technology directly into the design of the vehicle without having to sacrifice styling and eliminating the need for additional packaging, wiring or connectors on the exterior, the company said.
"[With Smart Corner], we integrate sensors, lidar, radar, cameras to enable autonomous driving in the future because the OEMs … need to package between 20 and 30 sensors in the car," Sebastien Richer, head of advanced innovation systems at Magneti Marelli Holding USA LLC, said at the North American International Auto Show.
The company showed the Smart Corner concept on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan, holding "ride and drives" to demonstrate the technology.
"In an autonomous car, there are sensors all around the car. The sensors give out very messy data and a lot of noise, and this is why we need sensor fusion to try to extrapolate the most informative information from all of this," said Axel Furlan, project and technical leader, during an afternoon demo.
Sensor fusion, the company said, is the process of gathering data from multiple sensors and "fusing" it together to get a more accurate report of the surrounding environment. The demonstration showed how Magneti Marelli is using data from the lidar and radar to detect and track vehicles on the highway.