WAPA and Denso Luncheon Recap

WAPA’s June 17 luncheon meeting was sponsored by Denso, one of the most well known OEM suppliers to the auto industry. Speaking on the subject of automated and autonomous vehicles, Denso’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Doug Patton, took us through a “reality check” of existing and soon to come technologies and how they fit into the real world.

After a brief overview of Denso’s major products, Mr. Patton presented the long range goals of automated vehicles, that of zero traffic accidents and technology that must, of necessity, function all of the time, every time, and in all conditions.
Mr. Patton demonstrated the SAE levels toward autonomous driving, from no automation through driver assistance (currently common on many models) to partial, then conditional, and finally high automation. He noted the various challenges of making automated driving a reality, including technology challenges, gaining consumer acceptance and liability/litigation issues.

The Human-Machine Interface is a subject very significant to Denso, which contributes to the eventuality of autonomous driving. Mr. Patton said that Denso has partnered with MIT Age Labs and Touchstone Evaluations to establish a consortium called AHEAD with the aim of establishing a common methodology to measure driver attention and workload. “Whatever and whenever autonomous drive is reached, the entire process and components must be seamless,” said Mr. Patton.
He also discussed Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication and the necessity of electronic security, both of which must be in place before automated vehicles occupy a significant market share.

A lively Q&A session followed Mr. Patton’s presentation. WAPA appreciates Denso’s time and effort into helping create a great, informative event.

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