Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd announced Sept 27, 2017, that Nissan Motor Co Ltd has employed its ECU (electronic control unit) designed for ADASes (advanced driver assistance systems) for the new "Leaf" electric vehicle (EV).
Hitachi Automotive Systems is responsible for the automotive business of Hitachi Ltd. The new Leaf will be released Oct 2, 2017.
For Hitachi Automotive Systems, the appearance of "ProPilot," which helps a car drive on a single lane of an expressway, is a big business chance. Nissan employed this function for its Serena minivan and X-Trail SUV (sport utility vehicle), which were released in August 2016 and June 2017, respectively.
The new Leaf is the company's third vehicle that has been equipped with the function. And Hitachi Automotive Systems engaged in all of the three vehicles.
The Renault/Nissan Alliance, for which Nissan plays a central role, plans to add ProPilot-based ADASes to 40 kinds of vehicles by 2022. For Hitachi Automotive Systems, this is a great chance to supply its products to France-based Renault and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, which belong to the alliance.
The new Leaf comes not only with the control of accelerator, brake and steering on expressways, which is also used for the Serena and X-Trail, but also with the "ProPilot Parking" parking support system. It is a system that detects the state of the surrounding environment by using 12 ultrasonic sensors attached to the outside of the vehicle and four monocular cameras located on the front and rear sides of the vehicle and right and left side mirrors.
With the addition of the new driving assistance system, ECUs are playing an increasing number of roles.