Entry system/Safety monitoring systemAiming for a society where anyone can be safe and comfortable at all times, whether they are getting in or out or are in a moving vehicle
Responding to CASE, MaaS and other new moves, the development of next-generation mobility vehicles incorporating automated driving technologies, including electric vehicles (EVs), is advancing. In concert with this, the development of systems for ensuring safe entry and exit and automatization of safety monitoring at the time of getting in and out of vehicles and while in vehicles is required. Aisin is concentrating its energies on "entry system" and "safety monitoring system" in this field. How will the future change with these two systems that provide reassurance and safety for all people moving by mobility vehicles when they get in and out of vehicles and when they are in vehicles? We interviewed the key persons of each system, Takeshi Yamamoto (entry system) and Hiroyuki Fujii (safety monitoring system).
- 1. Entry system and safety monitoring system, helping to provide reassurance, safety and comfort during movement
- 2. Providing an environment where all people can get in and out of a vehicle without hesitation by ensuring things that are generally taken for granted
- 3. Making continuous, steady efforts toward more comfortable entry and exit from the viewpoint of the user
- 4. Relieving concerns during movement through accurate sensing and safety monitoring
- 5. Maintaining human warmth to achieve safety monitoring that does not depend solely on technologies
- 6. Aiming to create a society where the entry system and the safety monitoring system are taken for granted
Development of Entry system
Development of Safety monitoring system
/Entry system and safety monitoring system, helping to provide reassurance, safety and comfort during movement
The number of vulnerable road users who are experiencing the inconvenience of movement, including senior citizens who cannot drive, wheelchair users, and parents/guardians pushing a baby carriage, is on the increase. In the meantime, the automobile industry is facing a once-in-a-century major transformation period. As technological development for unattended operations by vehicle electrification and automated driving is advancing, the environment surrounding mobility has changed significantly over the past few years. However, support for these vulnerable road users remains a major challenge. To address this challenge, what Aisin is focusing on are the entry system and the safety monitoring system, which Yamamoto and Fujii, respectively, are in charge of.
With the entry system, an electric ramp, a suspended sliding door system, and other equipment help anyone to get in and out of vehicles comfortably. With the safety monitoring system, monitoring with sensing technology and cameras helps to offer reassurance and safety to people moving by mobility vehicles.
/Providing an environment where all people can get in and out of a vehicle without hesitation by ensuring things that are generally taken for granted
When vulnerable road users who have difficulty with movement take a bus, train, or other form of transport, a conductor or crew member usually needs to put a ramp in place. Ramps mounted on welfare vehicles, etc. also require manual operation.
With the entry system offered by Aisin, using a double power sliding door expands the opening to secure ease of entry and exit. There is also a mechanism to take the ramp in or out without manual operation. Regarding the social significance of this entry system, Yamamoto said,
"At the moment, people who have difficulty with movement have a lot of concerns, for example, the need to ask for assistance from someone at the time of getting in or out, and to give consideration to the people around them. Using Aisin's technologies, we want to help them so they can enjoy movement without needing assistance from others. To this end, we want to ensure that the ramp can be taken in and out of the vehicle whenever necessary, something that is generally taken for granted."
Yamamoto said that an advantage of the entry system was that the entire process from development to production was conducted through cooperation within the AISIN Group.
"Aisin handles a wide range of products. We have the advantage of being able to combine them to develop products and provide them as a system. For example, Aisin products are used for almost all components around doors, including parts and motors. Furthermore, since even computers for controlling moving parts can be developed in Aisin, both hardware and software are covered within the Group and can be offered as a system."
Also for the ramp, "Experience in developing components and mechanisms of welfare vehicles, etc. is helpful." said Yamamoto. The entire AISIN Group has a 90% share of the vehicle ramp market. With a proven track record and cohesive strength that enables development from both the hardware and software aspects, Aisin aims to make a social contribution using the entry system.
/Making continuous, steady efforts toward more comfortable entry and exit from the viewpoint of the user
"What is important when developing the entry system, including technologies for opening and closing the door and taking the ramp in and out automatically, is to put ourselves in the shoes of the users." says Yamamoto.
"Road surface conditions vary significantly according to the season and place, including frozen roads and gravel roads. Also, to make it possible to automatically take the ramp in and out smoothly, we need to consider every single road surface condition, including differences in level and obstacles."
For example, it is necessary to study road surface friction resistance for taking the ramp in and out according to each place, adjust the motor output, and thoroughly calculate the angle and length of the ramp taken in and out. To achieve what is taken for granted as mentioned by Yamamoto, it is necessary to spend an immense amount of time and effort on studies, research, demonstration experiments, etc. in addition to this. Although it is daunting work that seems to take an eternity, "Even so" Yamamoto remarked with enthusiasm.
"We have already assumed almost all road surfaces under general conditions; however, there are various other different roads in the world. To allow many people to use the entry system more comfortably, we will continue research and development. The work of finding solutions to things that seem inconvenient one by one surely demands perseverance. However, I believe that by advancing even only one step, someday all people will be able to take it for granted that they can enjoy secure and safe entry and exit from and movement in a vehicle as their everyday means of transport."