The world’s second largest automotive Tier 1 supplier, Denso has opened its new Seattle Innovation Lab in Washington State, which will strengthen the company’s development of connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies and advance its Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform.
The new lab supports Denso’s recent expansion into software-based solutions to complement its hardware expertise, bolsters its North American R&D strategy and helps actualize its long-term plan aimed at creating new value for future mobility systems. The new facility also furthers Denso’s exploration of new business domains, like MaaS, to propel its technology development and contribute to better, safer and more sustainable transportation solutions. The MaaS concept involves the integration of various forms of transportation services through connected technologies that are accessible on-demand to travelers, providing a more convenient mobility experience.
As part of its work on MaaS systems, Denso is already developing cloud computing technology that collects and analyzes data from carsharing fleets and shares it with mobility service providers via the cloud to help improve fleet management. Denso’s MaaS Architecture consists of two major technologies:
- Mobility IoT Core, which digitizes a vehicle’s condition with a high degree of accuracy and sends information to the cloud, enabling real-time data collection and device control;
- Digital Twin, which reproduces the real world in a virtual digital space, using the data collected through the IoT Core, providing actionable space-time information to various service providers.
At the Seattle Innovation Lab, the company will collaborate with the city’s many technology companies and universities to further develop its cloud computing technology, including edge computing for automated driving, and speed its platform development for MaaS systems.
The Seattle Innovation Lab is part of Denso’s global R&D strategy that includes the recent opening of a similar Innovation Lab in Montréal, Canada, focused on advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI), and developmental contributions from the company’s other satellite R&D locations in Finland, Israel and San Francisco. In the USA, specifically, the Seattle Innovation Lab will add to Denso’s already robust R&D network, which operates within its existing locations.
“The Seattle Innovation Lab will play a key role in shaping our technology for current and new customers, regionally and around the globe,” said Kenichiro Ito, chief executive officer of Denso’s North American headquarters. “As we continue to innovate in emerging fields, we are changing what is possible for the future of transportation and mobility, and setting the course for how we achieve it.”
Bill Foy, senior vice president of engineering at Denso, said, “Our advanced R&D approach integrates agile development on a global scale. In North America, we’re partnering with innovative thinkers to execute on technologies and products that will define mobility for years to come.”