"Both lighting and electronics will play a crucial role in future autonomous driving scenarios," says HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. "As a leader in technology for the automotive sector with a clear strategic direction, we have good prospects in sight for providing our customers with innovative and sophisticated product solutions for autonomous driving as well as seizing opportunities for continued success in developing our company."
To this end, HELLA is developing innovative lighting solutions for automated driving situations. Body and interior lighting is also gaining in importance in this context, because in autonomous driving situations, drivers might use travel time for other purposes. As a result, a new type of interior lighting will be required in the future. That's why HELLA is already hard at work developing interior vehicle lighting designs that are highly customizable and enable a variety of new functions. These designs will also be adjustable to the variety of driver and driving situation requirements.
In the area of electronic and software functions relating to autonomous driving, HELLA pursues a three-pillar strategy. One the one hand HELLA positions itself as a supplier of key components in the areas of radar and camera software but also provides subsystems on the other hand. Additionally, HELLA acts as service and development partner.
In the context of front camera software, HELLA has introduced a new business model to the market. The new open software platform for camera-based driver assistance systems gives customers the option to custom-combine hardware components and series-ready software functions, such as traffic sign or pedestrian recognition, to fulfill their individual needs. This even includes complex automated driving functions that require considerably more advanced methods of image processing.
HELLA has also continuously expanded its leading position in radar technology. To this end, HELLA has launched the fourth generation of the 24 GHz radar technology with advanced safety and assistance functions and is currently preparing to launch radar sensors on a 77 GHz basis. This technology permits the type of 360-degree environment recognition that is required, particularly during automated driving and parking.
Based on this technological expertise, HELLA is positioning itself as a provider of subsystems geared toward certain use cases. Automatic parking scenarios are one example of what these systems handle. Such a scenario will be one of the most important functions in urban mobility in the near future. For this reason, HELLA will specifically build up technological expertise for automated parking and thus strengthen its position as a system provider in this area.
In addition, HELLA has become established as a development partner for autonomous driving functions and has increased its own system expertise through strategic collaborations. HELLA has been participating in open and flexible collaboration with partners such as ZF Friedrichshafen, NXP Semiconductors and LG Electronics.
As part of the Capital Markets Day, the HELLA Group provided a forecast for continuing down the company's profitable growth path. "Within a fast-changing and demanding market environment, we are on track to achieve our company goals. This serves as yet another confirmation that we have a strong business model", says HELLA CFO Bernard Schäferbarthold. "To ensure that we continue this profitable growth path in the future, we are going to keep making investments in cutting-edge technologies, in the expansion of the worldwide HELLA network and in our global development team."