Denso to make assisted braking systems

While automakers work toward the day when automated vehicles can eliminate crashes rather than cause them, machine-assisted driving has been the favored option for vehicles.

That includes lane-departure warnings, rear-view cameras, back-up alarms and automated braking systems soon to be made in East Tennessee.

Denso, the second largest automotive supplier in the world, will start manufacturing advanced driver-assistance systems in Maryville sometime next year.

Denso Vice President of Manufacturing Britt Autry said the technology will hopefully reduce accidents by helping drivers brake quickly in an emergency.

“It’s not full vehicle autonomy,” Autry said. “It’s more an opportunity to assist the driver and reduce accidents related to human error.”

It does that through small sensors behind a vehicle’s grill and inside on the dash. Those sensors communicate with the rest of the vehicle to warn drivers about stopping before vehicles crash.

The systems communicate with heads-up displays and interior alarms to warn drivers to brake, all while beginning to load the brakes themselves to stop the vehicle automatically or give the driver more braking power.

It works at speeds above 10 mph, Denso spokeswoman Bridgette LaRose said.

The company shipped a 2016 Lexus RX equipped with one of the systems to Maryville so employees who will build the systems can try them out first.

Production Associate Braden Timmons was already familiar with them though.

“One of these systems prevented my girlfriend from being in a crash about a month and a half ago,” Timmons said. “You never know what would have happened if it hadn’t worked. It feels good to know I’ll be building something that may help so many people.”

For the demonstration, Denso set up a cardboard cut-out of a vehicle to drive the Lexus toward at about 15 mph.

The vehicle’s sensors had trouble recognizing the two-dimensional object on the cloudy morning.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Brittany Crocker

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Published October 26, 2018