|| DENSO's drive to develop new technologies is
focused on three strategic areassafety, information and
communications, and the environment. As a leading automotive
component supplier, our ultimate goal is to create automobile
systems that enhance car safety and comfort and reduce the impact
of the car on the environment, while at the same time transcending
existing product categories and fields. With a product lineup
that covers these three areas and proprietary expertise ranging
from design to control systems, DENSO has the resources needed
to reach this objective.
|SAFETY: NEW LEVELS
|DENSO is developing automobile safety technology in two distinct
areas: active safety systems for collision prevention and avoidance,
and passive safety systems for damage minimization in the event of
| In active safety, we are enhancing the performance
of DENSO driver support systems already on the market. One example
is our adaptive cruise control (ACC) system, which uses a laser radar
to scan the road ahead vertically and horizontally. This radar is
linked to a distance control unit that works to ensure a safe distance
between vehicles. Another example is an engine electronic control
unit (ECU) that uses information gleaned from car navigation systems
to make appropriate adjustments to the car's gears when road conditions
change; braking into a corner for example. This brings enhancements
to both driveability and safety. DENSO also has some exciting new
technologies under developmentsensors that use biosigns such
as heart rate and eye movement to monitor driver drowsiness and fatigue,
and control systems that respond as required to the driver's condition.
We are also developing a system that aids driver night-vision using
| In passive safety, our main focus lies in the development
of next-generation airbag sensing systems. DENSO has already captured
a commanding lead in this product category. We are planning to reinforce
this position by incorporating the latest technologies and looking
ahead to our next-generation products. Our goal is to make airbag
sensing systems more accurate in detecting collisions, more responsive
in deployment, and increasingly sensitive to the size, weight, and
position of vehicle occupants. To achieve this, we are targeting the
development of dispersed sensing and car occupant sensing technologies,
while more advanced ECUs will improve the speed and deployment of
the airbag itself using data gleaned from these sensors. DENSO is
also developing millimeter wave technology to accurately identify
potential obstacles a split second prior to collision, thereby allowing
quicker operation of safety equipment.
COMMUNICATIONS: FROM THE ROAD INTO CYBERSPACE
|The automobile continues to evolve from a simple mode of transport
into a mobile terminal seamlessly integrated into information networks.
Driving this change is the latest Internet-enabled ITS technology
(Internet ITS). Internet ITS uses Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)
to ensure the vehicle is always connected to the Internet; anytime,
anywhere. This opens up a wealth of possibilities by enabling vehicle
occupants to freely access web-based services while on the road. Internet
ITS creates other benefitswith on-board electronic components
wired into the Internet, their performance can be constantly monitored
from a remote location.
| Japan is making important strides in this area. DENSO
has joined hands with public and private organizations to initiate
the Internet ITS Project (http://www.InternetITS.org/).
This project is aimed at establishing a common communications infrastructure
for ITS applications, thereby facilitating the development of on-board
ITS equipment and software. A number of Internet ITS pilot programs
have already started in Japan, the biggest involving 1,570 taxis in
Nagoya, conducted from January through March 2002. DENSO supplied
on-board equipment for the program.
| DENSO has been involved in the development of electronics
for automobile components since the transistor age. We will leverage
this wealth of knowledge and our experience in telecommunications
and network technology in the new field of on-board ITS devices.
CARS WITH LESS IMPACT
|The majority of the world's car air conditioners use a hydrofluorocarbon
refrigerant called HFC-134a. Although this substance does not harm
the ozone layer, it does have a high global warming potential (GWP).
With DENSO's accumulated expertise in air conditioners, we are naturally
at the forefront of efforts to find a better refrigerant. DENSO's
answer to this problem is air-conditioning systems, currently under
development, that utilize naturally occurring compounds such as carbon
dioxide (CO2). Natural refrigerants have an exceptionally low GWP
compared with fluorocarbon refrigerants. We have successfully developed
an air-conditioning and heat-pump system that uses a CO2 refrigerant
for Toyota's prototype Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV-4). The FCHV-4,
equipped with our system, began public road tests in August 2001.
Limited sales are slated to begin at the end of 2002. An earlier spin-off
of our research efforts in this area was the development of a household
heat-pump water heater that uses CO2 as the refrigerant. This unit
is more economical and has less impact on the environment than the
widely used combustion type heat-pump water heaters. Demonstrating
its superiority is the strong demand for this technology from home-builders,
electric utilities, and electric appliance makers since its launch
in May 2001.
| Gasoline engine management systems pose equally difficult
challenges. Customers are demanding engines that are cleaner and offer
improved fuel consumption and higher performance. But meeting these
requirements and supplying competitively priced components is a daunting
prospect. At DENSO, though, we are rising to the challenge with our
technological expertise in engine management components used in intake,
combustion, and exhaust processes, as well as our control algorithms
that ensure both optimal and precise management of combustion parameters
such as the air/fuel ratio. One example in this area is our latest,
pioneering fuel-injection technology that achieves new levels of fuel
atomization, thereby significantly reducing levels of hydrocarbons
in exhaust gases. DENSO's advanced processing technology was a vital
factor in creating the unique apertures in the fuel injector nozzles
that made this improvement possible.
| In diesel engine technology, the key issue is not fuel
consumption. Instead, engineers are working on ways to reduce concentrations
of harmful substances such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen
oxides (NOx) in exhaust gases. DENSO is also making great strides
in this area, with diesel common rail systems, a technology originally
created for trucks and more recently applied to diesel passenger cars.
DENSO's new diesel common rail systems use a high injection pressureat
1,800 bar, the highest in the worldand multiple injections during
each combustion stroke to reduce PM and NOx in exhaust gases. With
this technology, we have comfortably cleared the regulatory standards
set by the European Union in its EURO 4 emission regulations, due
to come into force in 2005. DENSO has also developed a diesel particulate
filter (DPF) for Toyota's diesel particulate-NOx reduction (DPNR)
system. In diesel engine technology, our goal is to prevent exhaust
gas issues from standing in the way of more people benefiting from
the fuel efficiency and power of diesel engines.
| DENSO is also actively developing components for hybrid
electric vehicles (HEVs). HEVs, which combine a conventional engine
with a battery powertrain, significantly cut fuel consumption and
emissions, particularly in traffic-congested cities. The idea is simple.
Power is supplied by the battery instead of the engine when exhaust
gas emissions and fuel efficiency would be at their worstcar
starts and low speeds. DENSO supplies a range of HEV components, including
integrated starter generators (ISGs), inverters, DC-DC converters,
and battery ECUs, that make this technological sleight of hand possible.
Our reputation for innovation extends to the HEV field: DENSO's development
of a belt-driven ISG that enables an idle-stop function was an industry
first and was equipped to several HEV models from 2001.
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