Denso presented its latest developments at the 68th IAA auto show in Frankfurt, stating that it believes convenience and comfort will become crucial elements for mobility providers in the future. Denso and its startup partners MAAS, Ridecell, Canatu, Bond mobility, and Joled also highlighted solutions aimed at helping build the pace of innovation across the automotive sector.
Seeing thermal management as one of its most crucial focus areas, Denso demonstrated the importance of thermal technology with its latest heat pump system, which pumps energy extracted from the cold environment into the cabin to warm it up. The system uses the same AC compressor, and the energy used is added to the amount taken from the environment, providing heating to the cabin. In electric vehicles, this can improve efficiency and extend driving range.
Marco Di Rao, CEO of Denso Thermal Systems in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said, “First of all, a heat pump system for an electric vehicle has multiple roles. It not only controls the temperature inside the cabin and the battery, both in summer and winter, but also the electric gear which is sensitive to high temperature levels. So I would say that the heat pump and thermal management are key enablers of the electrification of mobility. Secondly, the heat pump helps to resolve the 'either/or' dilemma of comfort versus range. With Denso’s heat pump system, you won’t need to compromise on range or comfort."
Denso also displayed the Delft Driverless Car—a fully autonomous racing car that was developed by students at the Dutch university of Delft—and introduced five technology partners, MAAS (Mobility As A Service), Ridecell, Bond mobility, Canatu, and Joled.
- Maas is a Finnish company combines transport options from different providers into one app, handling everything from travel planning to payments.
- Ridecell is a U.S.-based “enabler” of carsharing and ride hailing. The collaboration combines Ridecell’s vehicle fleet software platform with Denso products and technologies that are designed for connected vehicles.
- Bond mobility is an urban micromobility service that operates dockless e-bike share schemes in Switzerland and provides people with short-range transportation options.
- Canatu supplies carbon nanobud films and transparent touch sensors similar to those used in touch screens for phones and tablet devices.
- Joled is a developer of printed organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays that are used for human-machine interfaces (HMIs) in car cockpits. Denso’s collaboration with Joled aims to accelerate the advancement of human-machine interfaces.
As part of its key focus on autonomous driving, Denso is supporting Formula Student Team Delft. Last year, students at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands took up the challenge of building a fully autonomous electric racing vehicle as part of an international driverless competition. Formula Student Team Delft teamed up with students from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), and they recently unveiled their vehicle at a ceremony in the city of Delft. The fully autonomous racing car will participate in several races later this year.