DIGITALThe world around us consists of billions of individual bits of data, and they are driving it towards the future. HELLA is taking advan-tage of the opportunities provided by digitalisation in order to help shape the mobility of tomorrow with vision and through the use of wide-ranging ideas. 360° DIGITAL: a tour of the digital HELLA world.
T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F SHINING DATA Digitalisation is changing automotive lighting technology. HELLA is at the fore-front of this devel-opment. The most recent milestone: the development of a headlamp with liquid crystal HD technol-ogy, allowing fully adaptive light distri-bution in real time.SOFTWARE AS A PRODUCTHELLA Aglaia is one of the world’s leading suppliers of intelli-gent visual sensor systems. In a con-versation, Managing Director Kay Talmi talks about the rel-evance of computer vision for autono-mous driving and new software-based business models. A QUESTION OF TRAININGIn a pilot project, HELLA is premiering methods of artifi-cial intelligence in the form of “deep learning” in produc-tion to additionally improve quality and efficiency. A visit to the electronics plant in Hamm, Germany.CHANGE THE RULES OF THE INDUSTRYDigitalisation is break-ing up established market structures and is changing entire industries. If you want to be successful in this environment, you have to be prepared to break new ground. This is what HELLA is doing, as the examples from Lippstadt, Berlin and Silicon Valley show.16222632DIGITAL
360° HELLA BRINGS LCD TO FRONT LIGHTSA marvellous material: on the one hand liquid yet with the structure of crystals. These properties have made liquid crystals the most important raw material for screens. HELLA is now embarking on the next step with the development of an LCD headlamp: the first generation of high-resolution lighting systems that combine digitally controlled LEDs with a liquid-crystal display is to be launched in 2020.
T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F Digitalisation arrived in automotive technology a long time ago – and HELLA has been at the forefront of this development right from the start. How does the lighting expert position itself in this environment? How is HELLA driving digital light forward? And how did the first LCD headlamp research project develop?Shining dataThere was a time when the options were limited. There was only one light source in the headlamp for low beam and high beam. You could either switch a light on or off, turn up or turn down the headlamp. Two options, usually a function operated manually. This or something like this was the basic scenario in au-tomotive lighting technology for decades, a choice between zero and one. There was nothing in between. Until new light sources became available and additional sensor systems were integrated into the vehicle, thereby turning everything upside down.The latest-generation head-lamps are intelligent, high-res-olution and multi-functional; the numerous light sources inside the headlamps can be controlled individually via software. This means that light distribution can be adapted in an optimum way to traffic, weather and road conditions. Adaptive high beam assistants automatically ensure that oncoming traffic or cars ahead are not dazzled, through camera monitoring and a precise dimming of individual light sourc-es, while the rest of the vehicle’s surroundings remains fully illuminated. Dynamic light guid-ance, moreover, allows bends to be better illuminated and traffic signs to be lit glare-free.“We are in the midst of digitalising automotive lighting”, says Kamislav Fadel. A Bul-garian by birth, he is Executive Board member of the Lighting business division at HELLA and responsible for global lighting development. “This opens up entirely new opportunities for us to improve light management further and to offer additional functions to make driving even safer and more comfortable.” The merger of vehicle lighting and driver assistance systems is progressing inexorably. The time when it was simply a question of switching on and switching off is thus moving rapidly into the historical rear-view mirror. HELLA’s light tunnel, oppo-site the company headquarters in Lippstadt. A kind of simulated night-time road, the largest of its kind in Europe with a length of 140 metres. Michael Kleinkes, who is responsible for the light-ing technology development at HELLA, walks across a zebra crossing which high-pow-er beam projectors project onto the street of the otherwise completely darkened light testing facility. This kind of zebra crossing could, for example, give night-time pedestrians a signal to cross the street. A conceivable scenario in the case of partially or fully autonomous vehicles.“Whether such a function will actually be viable will not least of all depend on the statu-tory framework”, says Michael Kleinkes. The physicist, holder of a Ph.D., uses the zebra crossing function to present the latest technological innovation which HELLA recently unveiled in col-laboration with other partners. An LCD-based headlamp system. And indeed, the func-tions projected onto the road for testing are razor-sharp and feature a great deal of ad-justability. The next milestone in digital lighting technology. > TWe are in the midst of digitalising automotive lighting. This is opening up entirely new possibilities for addition-ally improving lighting control and designing new lighting functions.Kamislav Fadel, Member of the Executive Board, Business Division Lighting, Head of Lighting DevelopmentSHINING DATA 17360 DEGREES DIGITAL 2016/2017
The digitalisation of light is not a revolution. It is an evolutionary, gradual process which HELLA has steadily helped advance. Back in the early 1990s, when xenon head-lights became ready for series production, the lighting expert took the first steps, integrating electronic control units into the vehicle light – a novelty on the market at the time, from today’s perspective a precursor of digital light. From then on the functionalities increased step by step, the systems became more complex. In 2003 the Daimler E-Class was the world’s first vehicle to feature the dynamic bend and cornering light devel-oped by HELLA. In 2009, the first camera-based system went into series production, followed by the first glare-free high beam light in the Volkswagen Touareg in 2010 and the first Matrix LED headlamp in the Audi A8 in 2013. In 2016, the even higher-resolu-tion HD84 headlamp in the cur-rent Mercedes Benz E-class was added. All world premieres in automotive lighting technology.“HELLA owes its innovation leadership, especially in the digital light area, to a compre-hensive system competence,” says Michael Kleinkes. “From the headlamp to the control units and the imaging software that delivers the object data back to the headlamp control system - everything comes from a single source with us. The fact that we take innovative technologies from the original idea and make them ready for series production is a unique selling point on the market today.”It was rapid progress in four different technological areas that made the digitalisation of automotive light in the automo-tive sector possible: the tapping of new light sources (from halo-gen and xenon to LED or laser), the actuators for adjusting and pivoting light modules, increas-ingly powerful electronic control units and interfaces between electronics and headlamps and the sensor systems which today allow the geometry of the vehi-cle’s surroundings to be detected via cameras and radar while driving, to evaluate it and to con-trol light distribution accordingly. On top of this, the innovation momentum in the area of pro-cessor technology made similar advances. Ever faster micropro-cessors and supercomputers became available; without which real-time processing of the huge volume of data from the vehicle’s surroundings would have been impossible. “Currently, various new technological possibilities are emerging to increase the reso-lution of lighting systems and, hence, to implement new func-tions for improving road safety,” says Fadel. “We have considered every one of these new tech-nologies in detail. As part of a comprehensive requirement and analysis process we finally reached the conclusion that we should prioritise LCD-based headlamp systems over other options.”Why LCD? Compared with the other three digital-based technologies that play a role in HELLA’s development activities (see box on the right-hand side), a liquid crystal display illuminat-ed by LED light sources offers a large number of decisive advantages. Thus, the prototype of an LCD-based headlamp developed as part of a research project is able to project up to 30,000 pixels onto the road. A multi-layered technology From the heat sink to the LED light source and the liquid crystal display: the new headlamp consists of perfectly compatible modules. Different partners with specialist knowledge helped in its development.From the drawing board to the final product Liquid crystal HD technology has been integrated in a headlamp for the first time. The technology is used in home entertainment, for example, and with its high resolution and detail it offers entirely new possibilities for automotive lighting technology.12OpticsLEDs / controlLED printed circuit boardHeat sinkLiquid crystal mixturePolariser18 SHINING DATA
T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F Let there be light During the project term of around three years the drafts gradually became more specific. It was then not a big step from 3D rendering of the headlamp (image 3) to the test-ready prototype (image 4).Overview of digital lighting technologies In the course of the digitalisation of light HELLA looks at various different technological approaches. The four most important ones are: μAFS Adaptive front-lighting system with multi-pixel LED chip. Each of the around 1,000 pixels per light source can be individually controlled. Moderate resolution, hence limited number of functionalities. Laser scanner A mirror is used to direct a laser light beam to a special phosphorous plate. Promising, but still relatively far from being ready for series production. Digital mirror device A strong LED light source illuminates a chip with more than 500,000 micro-mirrors. Problem: can only be used for limited areas.LCDLED light is directed through a liquid crystal display. The crystals can be shifted, thus the light’s polarisation direction can be turned. Perspectively over 50,000 pixels, extremely precise projections.For the future, the number of pixels is to be increased to over 50,000. The question that had to be clarified together was this: can the combination of LEDs and a liquid crystal display, such as those we know from flat-screen TV sets for example, be used to design a headlamp which can master all different kinds of driv-ing situations in an intelligent, infinitely variable and targeted manner? And which at the same time is superior to the estab-lished premium headlamps as far as its resolution and functionalities are concerned?“At HELLA, the idea driving development is always this: what is the benefit of an innovation to the final consumer? What is the benefit for the automotive cus-tomer?” says Fadel. “After all, the criterion is not the plethora of what has become technologically feasible. Ultimately, the market only benefits from functionalities if they are meaningful.” These are primarily applications that enhance the safety and comfort of drivers: intelligent, glare-free high beam light, pedestrian road markings or the projection of pedestrian crossings, protection zones for cyclists, warnings or navigation symbols. > LCD in the headlamp: research project successfully completed Use of liquid crystal displays in the headlamp - can it be done? The question was still an open one when HELLA in April 2014 together with Porsche, Merck and other partners launched a project sponsored by the German Ministry of Education and Research and explored the potential of the technology. The result is impressive: liquid crystal HD tech-nology is expected to be deployed in the first series project in 2020.34SHINING DATA 19
20 SHINING DATA We owe our innovation leadership, especially in the digital light area, to a comprehensive system competence. From the headlamp to the control units and image processing software — everything comes from a single source with us. Dr. Michael Kleinkes, Head of Lighting Technology Development “It is precisely these functions and many more that can best be realised on the basis of innova- tive LCD technology,” adds Michael Kleinkes. And we are able to visualise virtually every idea of a new function via high-performance projectors in our light testing facility and to assess the parameters of the function. This gives us a very important advantage in the market.” The liquid crystal HD technology is expected to be first used from 2020. Further au- tomobile business models will broaden the picture: “function on demand” models and options for software updates and upgrades, individualisation and user ID concepts which should enable us to take lighting functions and preferences with us into third-party vehicles via a smartphone app in the future. ”The time horizon we have in mind for such developments is around five to ten years,” says Kamislav Fadel. “Trends such as autonomous driving, virtual reality, artificial intelli- gence and the Internet of Things already play a major role for us now. All things considered, we are only at the start of the era of digital light.” 1 2 3 A new dimension in headlamps: LCD technology permits fully adaptive, intelli- gent light distribution. As a result, (in addition to optimum, even illumination, image 1) numerous new functions can be realised, such as naviga- tion instructions (2) or signals to pedestrians (3).
In the HELLA light testing facility in Lippstadt new light functions can be visualised and assessed under conditions that closely mirror reality — a very decisive advantage on the market. T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F
360° HELLA AGLAIA ENSURES ALL-ROUND DIGITAL VIEWManaging Director Kay Talmi at the new head office of HELLA Aglaia in Berlin-Tempelhof. Its technological leadership has been expanded, ever since the company that specialises in the function development of intelligent visual sensor systems became a HELLA subsidiary in 2006. The latest milestone: a modular system for camera software which enables customers to combine functions flexibly.
T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F Kay Talmi, we are holding this conversation in your new office. What was the reason for relocating within Berlin? Kay Talmi: Over the last ten years, HELLA Aglaia has grown from around 30 employees to some 300. At the moment, we are recruiting up to seven new employees each month. Looking ahead over the coming years, we could have a head count of as much as 500. Quite simply, we needed more space. However, the immediate surroundings are far more important for us. Our new location in Tempelhof is a veritable hot spot for Berlin’s digital economy and will doubt-lessly also spur our develop-ment additionally.KThe Ullstein House in the Tempelhof suburb of Berlin. An 80-metre-high brick building constructed in the 1920s that has recently become HELLA Aglaia’s head office. With over 300 employees, the company is one of the world’s leading suppliers of intelligent visual sensor systems. In a conversation, Kay Talmi talks about the relevance of computer vision for autonomous driving, new software- based business models and the particular role played by the Berlin location in HELLA’s global network. Software as a productIn this way, we have been able to accumulate unique expertise in camera-based assistance systems with a clear focus on software over many years.Now you have launched an entirely new approach in front-camera software. What makes this approach so special?We have developed an entirely new business model entail-ing an open software system that customers can assemble in accordance with their own requirements. Put simply, our software system is not tied to any particular hardware. Instead, it can be implemented flexibly on different semiconductor producers’ platforms. As well as this, customers are able to freely combine software components using our model as a basis. This means that, in addition to HELLA components, they can also use proprietary or third-party solu-tions. New functions can be con-veniently added by means of a software update. If, for example, the customer requires a further application that is already avail-able in addition to a pre-installed one, such as light control or lane, traffic-sign, pedestrian or object detection, this can be retrofitted to the system.This approach sounds vaguely reminiscent of an app store of the type used with smart phones or tablets. Obviously, the comparison only goes so far but you are not wrong in saying this. We are imple-menting a type of building-block system with our product, giving our customers almost limitless flexibility. > What are the main drivers behind this rapid growth?We are moving away from assisted and towards autono-mous driving. This is a contin-uous process that will unfold in several stages. Camera-based detection functions play a crucial role in all these stages. And this is precisely where our key skills lie. Indeed, Aglaia has been exploring this area very closely ever since its foundation in 1998. In 2006, it became a wholly owned subsidiary of HELLA. Its first series-production order was for the development of a front camera for an American original equipment manufacturer. In 2009, we decided to focus solely on the provision of software in the camera business. Looking back, this absolutely proved to be the right decision. Since then, we have developed various ready-for-series-production systems for original equipment manufacturers in conjunction with a major hardware supplier. We have developed a completely new business model for camera software. Kay Talmi, Managing Director, HELLA AglaiaSOFTWARE AS A PRODUCT 23360 DEGREES DIGITAL 2016/2017
24 SOF T WARE AS A PRODUCT We have been able to accumulate unique expertise in camera-based assistance systems with a clear focus on software over many years. Kay Talmi, Managing Director, HELLA Aglaia What other systems have been shaping the market until now? Generally speaking, producers supply their chips with fully pre-integrated functions. This means that customers are al- ways forced to accept the entire software package. If you want to update later on, say, to add a new traffic sign that was not included in the original package, you have no choice but to wait for the next-generation product. HELLA, by contrast, offers dy- namic change and flexibility with its new product. What has the response to HELLA’s new product been like to date? Market reaction is decidedly favourable. We have won our first main contract and expect to supply a German premium vehicle manufacturer in 2019 and certainly by 2020 at the latest. I am convinced that our philosophy of separating hardware from software will find our custom- ers’ approval. Products with unchangeable software will be replaced by optional models, flexible architectures and building blocks of the type that HELLA is already offering. We are in the process of setting up suitable sales and licensing models. At the same time, we don’t want to offer our software solely for passenger vehicles but also for trucks and for construction and agricultural machinery. How would you describe the upcoming development steps culminating in self-driving vehicles? What technological challenges must be addressed? In the case of the lowest two levels, i.e. assisted driving, the main challenge facing us today is to supply cost-efficient solu- tions suitable for integration in high-volume vehicle segments and meeting the requirements of the 2018 Euro-NCAP pro- gramme. To achieve this goal, we are making use of conven- tional imaging processes that allow us to utilise cost-optimised hardware platforms. From 2018, the Euro-NCAP programme provides for four main functions, which we are able to implement with our software modules: traf- fic sign recognition, lane recogni- tion, light assistant and pedestri- an and obstacle detection. 2018 is not far off. What does the future hold in the ensuing years? The situation changes with automated or autonomous driving, that is from Level 3. These driving situations cannot be addressed using conventional processes due to the complexity involved. Approaches offering the necessary understanding of the situation are required to make autonomous driving pos- sible in urban traffic, for exam- ple, with all its road users, road signs, intersections and traffic lights. This understanding can only be provided by processes based on artificial intelligence. Does this mean that artificial intelligence will advance to become a key competence for HELLA Aglaia? Yes, it most definitely does. In the medium term, this may result in a radical change in the program- mers’ professional profile and, hence, also in the way we work. If self-teaching processes gain in importance, developers will no longer be asking “How do I solve a problem?” but, “how do I offer the software the best input
SOF T WARE AS A PRODUCT 25 so that it can solve the problem itself?”. Against this backdrop, we at HELLA Aglaia want to strengthen our role as software specialists within the HELLA Group. To give one example, we are currently in the process of transferring the skills that we have amassed in artificial intelli- gence to other parts of the HEL- LA Group, such as production. Looking forward over the next few years, what agenda do you have? Over the next few years, we will primarily be facing challenges and system requirements aris- ing from autonomous driving and working on developing our “software-as-a-product” business model. For this reason, we have our own self-driving vehicle here in Berlin. We are controlling it via software so that we can already explore the content and functions that will be relevant in five to ten years’ time and determine the software components that will be required. What advantages do you have from being based in Berlin? Berlin is an ideal place for HELLA to attract and retain talents from all around the world. It is an attractive city offering a high quality of life. What is more, we have here an ecosystem of digital startups meeting international standards as well as excellent universi- ties that are producing highly qualified programmers and developers. This provides us with an ideal basis for remaining at the vanguard in our efforts to actively and creatively shape tomorrow’s mobility. T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F About Kay Talmi: After studying computer science at the Technical University of Berlin, Kay Talmi initially worked freelance on several software projects before he set up his company Vision Pearls in 1998. Talmi joined Aglaia in 2004, where he soon assumed overall responsibility for development. He has been Managing Director of HELLA Aglaia since 2009.
Digitalisation is encompassing almost all steps along the automotive value chain. In a pilot project, HELLA is premiering methods of artificial intelligence in the form of “deep learningv for the production of electronic com-ponents to additionally improve quality and efficiency. A visit to the pilot plant in Hamm, Germany. A question of trainingHer eyes light up even today when she talks about the potential offered by this new technology. Progress, efficiency and precision - these were the first thoughts that entered her head when she heard about it. Stefanie Trottenberg is head of production of internal Factory 5 at HELLA’s electronics plant in Hamm. “This is exactly what I found so fascinating about this project from the outset,v she says smiling.The plant in Hamm is rich in tradition but simultaneously also the most modern electron-ics facility in the global HELLA network. Opened in 1961, it is the global electronics lead plant. Production processes are designed and global quality standards for HELLA are defined at this site with a total floor area of 22,000 square metres. It is also where numerous innova-tive electronics solutions are produced: various control units, radio transmitter keys as well as systems and components for driver assistance and efficient energy management. In her position as internal factory manager, Trottenberg is responsible for the control units for electric power steering, the steering control module, SCM for short. HELLA is one of the global market leaders in this area, up to five million electronic control units a year can be produced at the plant. > HA team from HELLA Aglaia did not programme the system. Rather, they trained it with countless sample thermal images. Coaching continued until the system had developed an algorithm allowing it to now tell whether a weld had been performed correctly or not. 26 A QUESTION OF TRAINING
T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F 360°“DEEP LEARNING” IN PRODUCTIONLaser-welding is a particularly demanding task in the production process. Checking almost 8,000 welds in eight-second intervals in the course of a shift is a challenge for the human eye. This makes the quality check error-prone. HELLA uses a thermal imaging camera and artificial intelligence to optimise this step.
28 A QUESTION OF TRAINING Progress, eﬃciency and precision – this trio is what “deep learning” in the production phase is all about. Stefanie Trottenberg, Head of Production at Internal Facto- ry 5 of the HELLA electronics plant in Hamm They reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared with hydraulic power steering. The production of SCM units is particularly complex and demanding. There is a large number of parts and most of the production steps are fully automated. The components comprise sensitive high-perfor- mance technology. Delivering the highest possible safety and quality standards to the customer is both a commitment and a challenge. Some of the assemblies are produced in clean rooms. Those entering the production workshops have to be grounded using ESD strips on their shoes in order to avoid possible electrostatic discharge on components or assemblies. The production of control units for electric power steering is particularly complex and demanding. Most of the production steps are fully automat- ed. Stefanie Trottenberg and Dr. Jens Gedicke formed a work group tasked with considering ways of bridging the automation gap.
A QUESTION OF TRAINING 29 Production is always particularly challenging when pre-assembled module parts are “married” to each other on various lines, as engineers refer to the process. One particularly complex assembly step takes place when the two final main parts are welded by a laser and must then be checked. “Quality checks are usually performed by means of fully automatic checking systems at most places along the line,” explains Stefanie Trottenberg. However, she adds that this is not possible here as simple camera systems are not able to reliably deter- mine whether a weld exhibits any errors or not. “That’s why we had to implement a human sight check at this place and disrupt the automation line,” she says. “This is a tedious and difficult process that adversely affects the efficiency of our production. After all, products may occa- sionally still be defective even if the sight control does not show any errors.” Trottenberg, who holds a degree in mechanical engineer- ing, was not prepared to accept this compromise. “Nothing’s impossible” - this engineering philosophy has been a source of motivation for her throughout her entire career. Problems are there to be solved. This prompt- ed the forming of a work group within the plant tasked with considering ways of bridging the automation gap. “As the quality of a weld can be readily detected during the cooling process, we quickly decided to use a thermal imaging camera,” says Dr. Jens Gedicke, technology expert for laser welding at HELLA and head of the work group. In addition, as was to become clear later, the pictures taken T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F In real time images of the weld taken by a thermal imaging camera are displayed on the monitor. The pictures show the heat at the four welding points. Some welds are in order. Others are not. And the system is able to tell the difference. by the thermal imaging camera could be combined with a deep learning approach. In this way a sub-form of artificial intelligence entered the production chain. And, indeed, the second step did not take long to eventu- ate. No sooner had they come up with the idea of using a thermal imaging camera than Gedicke and Trottenberg received un- expected support from Berlin: HELLA Aglaia had developed a self-learning software system. “We were pretty sure that this was a suitable solution for our problem,” remember Trotten- berg and Gedicke. “A system that only has to be trained with a sufficient number of thermal images to independently learn whether a weld is OK.” HELLA Aglaia has been de- veloping camera software since the end of the 1990s. >
The preliminary results are so promising that we are already looking into the possibility of transferring the application to other production lines. Dr. Jens Gedicke, Technology Expert in Laser Welding The software systems on which HELLA Aglaia is currently working help driverless cars to detect their surroundings. Visual sensors identify pedestri- ans and cyclists, traffic signs, vehicles ahead and approach- ing, transferring the data they collect to the control system. In most cases, this involves a “deep learning” application, i.e. an artificial neural network. The systems are trained manu- ally by entering sample images until a suitable algorithm is generated as a basis for making future decisions. But back to Hamm. A tour of the factory reveals, in particular, just how automated it is. Dozens of robot arms grab components, insert printed circuit boards and other com- ponents. Finally, a continuous furnace heats the assembly in order to harden the adhesive. As soon as this has been done, the assembly is transferred to the final production stage, welding. The “marriage” takes place inside a unit illuminated red in the interior. The thermal imaging camera, the digital system’s eye, is inconspicuous.
A QUESTION OF TRAINING 31 to be detected that are otherwise hidden from human view as they are concealed beneath too many layers of data.” This makes it possible, for example, to detect conditions which in isolation are not problematic but cause errors as soon as they coincide. “As a result, we are able to identify faulty parts a good deal earlier and thus lower our quality costs even further,” he adds. “Although we still have a long road ahead of us until it is fully realised, but it is definitely what production will look like in the future.” HELLA is one of the world’s leading suppliers of control units foruelectricupoweru steering.uTheyureduceu fueluconsumptionuandu CO2uemissionsucom- pareduwithuhydraulicu powerusteering. T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F There is a computer beneath the unit above which a screen can be seen. Every eight seconds a new assembly, a new welding process. The laser does its work, it welds in four places, the laser beam shines brightly behind the plexiglass screen for only a fraction of a second. A dozen thermal images are displayed on the monitor in real time, all taken within a few milliseconds of each other. The images show against a purple background the heat chart of the welding process. Some welding points are “in order”, others are not. This can be seen by the distribution of heat. And this is where “deep learning” steps in. A team from HELLA Aglaia did not pro- gramme the system. Rather, they trained it with count- less sample images of these temperature charts. Coaching continued until the system had developed an algorithm allowing it to distinguish between “OK” and “not OK”. This software system has now been in use at the electronics plant in Hamm for a good six months, initially in a pilot project. “However, the preliminary results are so promising that we are already in the process of looking into the possibility of transferring the application to other production lines,” says Gedicke. Around 5,000 items of information are collected and stored during the produc- tion of an SCM unit, providing enormous potential for “deep learning”. “Things really take off when we implement such systems at various points along the production line and network them with each other,” says Ge- dicke. “This allows correlations The Hamm facility isutheuelectronicsuleaduplantu inutheuglobaluHELLAunetwork.u Productionuprocessesuareu designeduanduglobaluqualityu standardsuforuHELLAuareu defineduhere.uHammuisualsou whereuvariousucontroluunits,u radioutransmitterukeysuasu welluasusystemsuanducompo- nentsuforudriveruassistanceu anduefficientuenergyumanage- mentuareuproduced.
Digitalisation is rewriting the rulebook for markets and business models. It is breaking open established varket structures and is changing entire industries. This also applies to the autovotive business. If you want to be successful in this environvent, you have to be prepared to break new ground. This is what HELLA is doing, as the exavples frov Lippstadt, Berlin and Silicon Valley show.Change the rules of the industryA Monday evening in HELLA Globe. The covpany’s own hotel and conference centre is not far frov its head office in Lippstadt. This is where around 30 HELLA executives and experts frov dif-ferent areas veet once a vonth for an innovation circle, i-circle for short. John Bessant, Profes-sor of Innovation and Entrepre-neurship at Exeter University, guides the attendees through the progravve. He sees hivself as vore of an ivpulse generator. The foruv aivs to realise a cross-functional exchange on in-novation issues, experience and ideas without any fixed expecta-tions regarding the result. Today’s topic: the future of the varket for passenger car spare parts. Dovinik Hess, Managing Director of HELLA subsidiary UCANDO, has trav-elled to Lippstadt just for this event. The subsidiary has been based in Berlin since 2014 and specialises in online trading in autovotive spare parts for end custovers. Its focus is privarily on the Polish varket. At the save tive, UCANDO is pushing ahead with the overarching developvent of digital solutions in wholesale. “With the technological options available to us today, we have to look at and vap the en-tire value chain on the aftervar-ket in a covpletely new way,“ says Hess. One everyday ex-avple: the brake pads are worn and have to be replaced. The car owner notices the defect, vakes an appointvent with the work-With the tech-nological options availa-ble to us today, we are able to look at the entire value chain on the aftermarket in a completely new way.Dominik Hess, Managing Director UCANDO LIPPSTADTHELLA Globe: i-Circle32 BRILLIANT VISIONS
T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F BRILLIANT VISIONS 33360° BRILLIANT IDEASWith digitalisation the opportunities just grow. All the more important, then, to identify attractive innovations at an early stage and implement them systematically. Networking can help here. This is because brilliant ideas usually spring up when different kinds of people come together. For HELLA this is a key approach to the solution in order to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the future. shop. It orders the spare parts, they are delivered and fitted. A long chain of individual steps, sove of which are already digi-talised, but as a whole they take tive and effort. What if the entire process, even starting before the vovent the problev everges until the delivery of the repaired vehicle to the custover, could be transforved into a process that has been efficiently digitalised frov start to finish? Working together with his teav, Dovinik Hess is occupied with these very questions. The aiv is to develop the range of UCANDO’s business activities. In addition to the classic e-cov-verce business, a suitable service offering including a cost estivate can be drawn up in a nearby workshop and pro-posed to the custover upon request. The next vilestone is an overarching digital service platforv which pools HELLA’s aftervarket activities in a single digitalised process. This can lead to vehicles being booked in for repairs even before the dav-age becoves evident. Which vight constitute a substantial added value for operators of large car fleets, rental car firvs or haulage covpanies.Dovinik Hess is looking even further into the future: “Another possibility is data glasses for workshop evploy-ees, which use ivage recogni-tion and self-learning systevs to stipulate exactly what needs to be done and which autovatically order the spare part in the process.“ Is this a vision of the future? Yes, but at HELLA the i-circle is already discussing this issue in depth. 360 DEGREES DIGITAL 2016/2017
360 DEGREES DIGITAL 2016 /2017 BRILLIANT VISIONS 35 matically for HELLA, particularly on account of its high level of technological expertise. This is because technological know- how is a sought-after commodity in Silicon Valley. “Some start-ups come to us specifically because we stand out from pure capital backers thanks to our position as an established technological leader in the areas of lighting and electronics,“ says Waterman. Waterman and his team are always looking to join forces with the relevant technology experts from the global HELLA organisation. As soon as a preliminary selection of potential investments has been made on site in Sunnyvale, a systematic decision-making process kicks in involving representatives from different specialist areas and the HELLA Management Board. “Ultimately, of course, for us quality always comes before speed,“ comments Waterman. “But we have streamlined the entire process in such a way that we as HELLA are able to invest successfully in young, for- ward-looking companies even in the fast-moving digital age.“ One of many paths the company has chosen in order to be one step ahead in the automobile future. Our job is to identify start-ups which may be of interest to HELLA and to the mobility of tomorrow. Jason Waterman, Managing Director of HELLA Ventures in Silicon Valley T R O P E R L A I C N A N I F SILICON VALLEY HELLA Ventures: Venture Capital arm Sunnyvale, a town with a popula- tion of 140,000 in California, right in the heart of Silicon Valley, the epicentre of the current digital industry disruption. This is where HELLA Ventures has been based since October 2015. Here, too, the main concern is the automobile future, new ideas, new business models to be one step ahead of the market. Jason Waterman is Manag- ing Director of HELLA Ventures. Together with a team of five he is on the lookout for strategic in- vestments. “We are not so much a creative lab which develops and works out new ideas,“ says Waterman. “Rather, our job is to identify suitable start-up com- panies which may be of interest to HELLA and to the mobility of tomorrow. Then we make target- ed investments.“ Its focus is on start-ups offering innovative solutions for key market trends in the automotive sector, such as autonomous driving, electrifica- tion or cloud services. There are plenty of oppor- tunities to do so. Especially in Silicon Valley. Pitches, where start-ups present their ideas and plans to a group of potential in- vestors, are almost an everyday occurrence. “The standards of the pitches are at an extremely high level, the presentations and business models are usually very well-founded,“ says Water- man. The biggest challenge for HELLA Ventures is to filter out attractive investment opportuni- ties early on, before others do. Networking and speed thus become essential success factors. But the luminous power of the HELLA brand also has a positive impact in the pulsating microcosm that is Silicon Valley. Thus many doors open auto-