Hella presented steering and braking solutions at the Steering Systems USA in Detroit. The specialty summit brings European and American electronics and steering professionals together to promote autonomous driving, energy efficiency and electrification.
Hella is a leading provider of steering control modules with more than 22 million in the current market and supplies products to five leading steering system suppliers.
Steering control modules not only facilitate vehicle maneuvering and improve fuel efficiency but also lay the foundation for implementing various functions of automated driving, such as lane keeping assistance and automated parking. At the conference, Hella showcased steering control modules as fail-safe or fail-operational. This means that in the event of a fault in the electronics, the system will be able to continue safe operations, making the steering control module suitable for level 4 automated driving, a condition which the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) defines as being able to operate under certain conditions without any form of human intervention.
Hella also displayed the latest generation of its well-known steering angle sensor, Torque and Angle Sensor (TAS). These sensors, based on Contactless Inductive Position Sensor (CIPOS®) technology, measure the torque and angle of the steering wheel with high accuracy. As a result, they are a major factor in the move toward driverless driving.
Data from the sensors is already being used by the lane keeping assist function, which, semi-autonomously, can keep a car in the correct lane by means of automatic steering impulses sent to the driver. This also ensures the necessary redundancy for more complex future autonomous driving functions.
In addition, the company also is taking a step forward in the area of electrification and exhibited its new Motor Position Sensors (MPS) as an efficient alternative to resolver or magnetic sensors for Brushless Direct-Current (BLDC) or Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PSMS). The MPS, which are smaller and lighter than resolver solutions, provide feedback about the motor position to the engine control.
In the field of electrohydraulic brake systems, which are increasingly required for electrically-powered vehicles, Hella showed an integrated braking solution for the first time in the U.S. It is a compact and reliable solution where the engine and pedal travel sensors are integrated in a housing with two separate circuit boards. This results in a reduction of interfaces (ASICs) and plug connections compared to the use of two individual sensors.