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Sensor and Control Technologies for Enhanced Automobile Safety

Masayoshi Suzuki, D. Eng., Automotive Products Division, Hitachi, Ltd
Kazuaki Takano, Automotive Products Division, Hitachi, Ltd

ABSTRACT

The societal requirement for improving the safety of automobiles has become stronger year after year.

"Safety," in addition to "clean emissions," are the most important keywords for automobiles.

There are two basic technologies to improve safety.

One is "passive safety" which tries to minimize the damage of passengers in case of an accident. The other is "active safety" which tries to prevent the accident itself.

In response to "passive safety" needs, Hitachi has developed a crash sensor and an air bag module for the air bag systems.

Hitachi's electrostatic capacitive crash sensor has an active self-diagnostic function with a three-layer structure. Hitachi's air bag module uses this crash sensor and Hitachi's H8 microcomputer.

In response to "active safety" needs, Hitachi developed a controller for an antilock brake system (ABS). Furthermore, Hitachi is developing sensing technologies for the future, such as the smart camera unit for recognizing situations in front of the vehicle.


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