Tokyo Motor Show 2011: Parts Suppliers (2)

Technologies addressing fuel economy, weight reduction, driving comfort and luxuriousness



 The following is an outline of technologies addressing fuel economy, weight reduction, innovative transmission and steering, parts and technologies that will create additional comfort and luxuriousness, safety technologies, lighting equipment etc., exhibited by automotive suppliers at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011 (December 3 to 11, 2011).

 Increasing fuel economy of vehicles powered by an internal combustion engine is one of the highest priorities for all OEMs. The Tokyo motor show was a showcase of many technologies developed to increase fuel economy or reduce vehicle weights. Among them was the "low speed lock-up torque converter" (exhibited by Exedy) that constitutes Mazda's SKYACTIV technology, and the EPS and driveshaft (by JTEKT) that support high fuel economy of Daihatsu's new minicars.

 Transmission technologies exhibited at the show included the world first toroidal CVT for FWD vehicles by NSK and Jatco's CVT that was integrated from four to only two models.

 Parts and technologies that were displayed focusing on greater riding comfort and luxuriousness included the bamboo-made steering wheel developed by Tokai Rika, leather steering wheels and seats by Midori Hokuyo, and relax seat by TS Tech.

 Koito Manufacturing exhibited all LED headlamps (all LED lamps other than the turn signal lamps, used on the new Lexus GS) and the new LED headlamps consisting of two third-generation LEDs (on each side).

Technologies to increase fuel economy

 A broad variety of fuel economy related technologies were exhibited reflecting the increasingly stringent fuel economy regulations being introduced in Japan, U.S. and Europe.

 Exedy exhibited the "low speed lock-up torque converter" that is a critical part of Mazda's SKYACTIV technology. NGK exhibited the "Premium RX plug" that contributes to improving the JC08 fuel economy level by 2.2% compared to the conventional plugs.

 Akebono Brake Industry and Nissin Kogyo exhibited the low-drag calipers while NTN presented the chain guide concept that converts the slipping resistance of the timing chain guide to a rolling resistance to reduce the overall friction.

Low speed lock-up torque converter "Low speed lock-up torque converter" (exhibited by Exedy) that constitutes a critical part of Mazda's SKYACTIV technology (four-disk clutch seen at far left)

Low friction chain lever and chain guide Low friction chain lever and chain guide (proposed by NTN, changes slipping resistance of the timing chain to rolling resistance to reduce the friction)

Technologies addressing fuel economy

Exedy Low speed lock-up torque converter  The newly-developed torque converter constitutes a key part of Mazda's SKYACTIV technology. Based on the idea of switching from the conventional power transmission using fluid coupling (transmission of rotary motion via a fluid) to a power transmission by means of a lockup clutch.
 A four-disk clutch (instead of a single-disk clutch) is used to absorb a larger impact than before by dispersing pressure acting upon the friction material. The new torque converter uses a damper with a larger spring capacity. These two improvements increased the lockup range from the conventional 50% to 80%, which also helped to increase the direct feel of acceleration while reducing noise and vibrations.
Schaeffler Electric VTC  Schaeffler exhibited the electric VTC being developed (VTC stands for Variable Timing Control System; Schaeffler calls it Electromechanical Camshaft Phasing System). The VTC contributes to reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
UniAir system  Schaeffler also exhibited another VTC system called UniAir system that continuously varies the intake valve timing and lift using a hydraulic drive. This system is used by Fiat (called MultiAir) and Chrysler (through licensing by Fiat) on their cars.
Akebono Brake Industry Low drag Caliper (under development)  A slight contact between the pad and the rotor when the brakes are released causes resistance to the rotor rotation and affects the car's fuel economy. A slight change in the gap between the pad and the pad piston affects the brake timing and causes fear about the brakes for the driver.
 The low drag caliper optimizes the pad-to-rotor gap in micron accuracy to reduce the rotary resistance and thus contributes to increasing the car's overall fuel economy.
 Recently many aluminum wheels are of a perforation structure exposing the tire's inside. Accordingly caliper designing is also required to be refined.
Nissin Kogyo


Brake Caliper

  Nissin Kogyo has developed and exhibited a new mechanism to release the brake pad from the brake disk effectively when the brake is not operating. It has achieved an 85% reduction in drag resistance compared to the current products and increased fuel economy of vehicles by 1%, which is equivalent to weight reduction of 20-30kgf. The new product will be introduced in the market in 2012.

 Furthermore, the company is developing technology to move brake drag resistance as close to zero as possible in all speed ranges. The company aims to introduce a new product incorporating this technology in 2015.
NGK NGK Premium RX spark plug  Premium RX plug has the industry's first "central electrode containing ruthenium, a new material" and "the side electrode having platinum tip protrusion and oval section" that deliver a faster spark dispersion resulting in high combustion efficiency. Launched in June 2011.
 In comparison with the ordinary spark plugs, NGK Platinum RX plug increases the JC08 mode fuel economy by 2.2% and engine idling fuel economy by 1.9%, and shortens the cold start time (to 550 rpm) by 0.67 seconds and acceleration from 30 km/h to 70 km/h by 0.50 seconds.
(Note) Midsize and larger cars commonly use spark plugs made of iridium (a noble metal) of high combustion efficiency, in addition to ordinary spark plugs. NGK Platinum RX plug uses a new industrial material, ruthenium (a noble metal), that promises even higher combustion efficiency.
NTN Low friction chain lever & guide  Conventional timing chains slide on the flat-surfaced guide. With the addition of bearing, the slipping resistance can be changed to a rolling resistance to reduce friction by a 50% maximum and 22% on average, and increase fuel economy by approximately 1%. NTN has presented the proposal to OEMs and is now engaged in a joint experiment of the new timing chain with one of the OEMs toward commercial application in 2014.
Mitsuba Motor to operate the front shutter (Note)  Mitsuba exhibited a motor that operates the shutter located in front of the radiator. The motor closes the shutter when the car is running at high speed to reduce the air drag thereby increasing fuel economy.
 The motor is mainly exported to Europe. This system is not common in Japan since, according to Mitsuba, the shutter would be mostly open as Japan has a moderate climate through the year and most people do not drive long distances on expressways.

(Note) The shutter fitted in front of the radiator is also used in the United States as a way to increase fuel economy. It is used, for instance, on GM's Chevrolet Cruze Eco (highway mileage of 42 mpg). Source: Suppliers' brochures and exhibits at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011 (this applies to the above-mentioned suppliers and all others in this report).


Weight reduction technologies

 Toyota Industries exhibited a plastic panoramic roof which is available with the Prius α.

 Yorozu Corporation has developed the world's first rear axle beams made by tailor welded blank technology. The beams will be supplied for Honda's new minicar, N BOX.

 NHK Spring presented a weight reducing method using coil springs with a hollow structure. JTEKT exhibited lightweight electric power steering, hub unit, and driveshaft being supplied for Daihatsu's new minicars.

Coil spring having a hollow structure Coil spring having a hollow structure, exhibited by NHK Spring, reduces weight by about 25% (coil spring at the center)

JTEKT's lightweight hub unit JTEKT's lightweight hub unit (supplied for Daihatsu's new minicars)

Weight reduction technologies

Toyota Industries Corporation Plastic panoramic roof  The plastic panoramic roof, used on Prius α, is made of polycarbonate resin surfaced with a hard-coat film and weighs approximately 8 kg lighter (40%) than the glass-made roof. The company succeeded in mass production of the largest plastic window in the world (approximately 1.6 square meters).
Plastic quarter window  The company also exhibited the plastic quarter window and partition used on Lexus LFA and also made of polycarbonate resin.
TOYODA GOSEI Lightweight bumper by thinner design  Using highly rigid material and a CAE design method (to reduce thickness while ensuring necessary strength), the company managed to reduce the bumper thickness from the standard 3 mm down to 1.5 mm resulting in approximately 20% weight reduction. The bumper, styled with care in detail, is available on Toyota Wish under the name of "Front Aero Bumper." The company will strive to reduce costs to better prepare for the growing need of weight reduction.
Plastic fuel filler pipes  Toyoda Gosei has achieved an approximately 50% weight reduction to less than 1 kg by using plastics rather than metal. The pipe's barrier properties (which prevent fuel from permeating the pipe) and durability have been increased by a five-layer construction, including the high density polyethylene layer, and strength and impact resistance by a bellows structure. The pipe is used on Toyota iQ, Vitz, Ractis, etc.
TACHI-S Next-generation seat frame  The next-generation seat skeleton (frame) allows most parts sharing between electrically-operated and manually-operated types. The use of common parts has reduced the part count by 23% and the weight by more than 30% compared to the company's other products. Various accessories (such as Ottoman) can be fitted with minimal parts change.
 Global volume production is slated to start in 2012. The frame is compatible with various vehicle models and can be produced in emerging markets using local material. The company is striving to sell it to OEMs.
YOROZU Rear axle beam utilizing tailor welded blank technology  In the tailor welded blank technology, steel sheets (blanks) of varying material and thickness are welded together and then pressed as if they were a single piece (in conventional methods sheets are pressed first and then welded together to make a complete part). This reduces the press die count while increasing the material yield.
 This technology is used to make front suspension members and some other parts as a way to reduce the vehicle weight and manufacturing costs as well. It has been used mainly to produce parts that are not subjected to a large force as it was considered difficult to use this method for making rear suspension parts that are subjected to a large torsional force.
 Yorozu confirmed that plasma-welded joints joined at higher temperatures than ordinary arc welding presented characteristics that were close to those of the base metal. Upon this finding, Yorozu developed and produced rear axle beams using the tailor welded blank technology for the first time in the world. The technology is used to join the trailing arm and the torsion beam of the rear suspension on Honda N BOX to reduce its weight.
NHK Spring Hollow Coil Spring  The coil spring for suspensions is made of a hollow high strength pipe that contributes to about a 25% weight reduction. The hollow pipe is as strong as the solid pipe but has a bit larger outer diameter and costs more. Sample shipment is slated for 2015.
Fully Stressed Design Coil Spring  This is similar to the hollow coil spring but its material diameter is varied according to the moment distribution being generated (a larger diameter in areas under larger stress) to even out the stress distribution. This method contributes to about a 15% weight reduction. Sample shipment is slated for 2016.
Lightweight components supplied for Daihatsu's new minicars
JTEKT EPS exclusively for minicars  Optimization for minicars exclusively (a smaller part count resulting from structural simplification etc.) and application of new technologies contribute to weight reduction (18% from conventional products) and cost reduction.
Lightweight hub unit  A strength analysis of brake drums and hub units has contributed to reducing weight, torque (less rolling loss) and cost and fuel consumption by 0.8%.
Compact and lightweight driveshaft  The compact and lightweight driveshaft has resulted from an analytical engineering and form optimization design. The outer diameter was reduced by 4% which resulted in 200 g (8%) lighter weight.



New transmissions

 Aisin AI exhibited the 6-speed MT to be used on Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ.

 NSK has developed and exhibited the world first toroidal CVT that may be used on FWD vehicles. The company is proposing a new CVT to the OEMs around the world that will promise higher fuel economy than the multi-speed AT or belt-driven CVT.

 Jatco used to produce four types of CVT according to the engine sizes but has decided to reduce them to only two. One is the world's first CVT with sub-transmissions, Jatco CVT7 (for minicars and small cars) that was first produced in 2009, and the second is the Jatco CVT8 to be introduced in 2012 for medium to large size vehicles ranging from 2.0L to 3.5L engines.

Aisin AI's FR 6-speed MT (to be used on Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ Aisin AI's RWD 6-speed MT (to be used on Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ

Prototype of the toroidal CVT for FWD cars Prototype of the toroidal CVT for FWD cars (exhibited by NSK) with higher fuel economy than multi-speed AT or belt-driven CVT

VW's DCT "DQ500" VW's DCT "DQ500" (components identified by gold color are supplied by NSK)

Jatco CVT8 for medium to large size FWD cars Jatco CVT8 for medium to large size FWD cars slated for production in 2012

New Transmissions

Aisin AI RWD 6-speed MT  Short stroke and agile shift feeling. To be supplied for Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ.
Aisin AW Medium FWD 6-speed AT  Used on Peugeot 308, 3008, RCZ, 508, 5008, 408, Citroen C5, DS4, DS5, and Fiat 500.
Small Torque Capacity CVT  The newly-developed torque converter and low-friction material contribute to improving fuel economy by 3.9% from the previous model (10-15 mode test). Used on the third-generation Toyota Vitz (launched in December 2010) and second-generation Ractis (launched in November 2010). The 1.3L 2WD Vitz with the start-stop system delivers a class-top fuel economy of 26.5 km/L.
NSK Toroidal CVT for FWD cars  The conventional toroidal CVT takes up a large space and only fits on RWD vehicles which are usually large size cars. The new toroidal CVT is 23% shorter and 27% lighter than the conventional variator (disk and roller located at the center of transmission), compact enough for FWD cars for the first time in the world.
 The permissible torque was increased from 390 to 400 Nm during the development stage to make the CVT mountable on cars driven by up to 3.5L engines. At the same time, the gear ratio was increased from 4.33 to 6.5 to make it possible to lower the engine rpm in a wider speed range. NSK claims the new toroidal CVT for FWD cars delivers higher fuel economy than multi-speed AT or belt-driven CVT.
VW's DCT "DQ500"  NSK exhibited a cut model of the DQ500, a DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) launched by VW in 2009. NSK supplies components. The DQ500 endures torques up to 600 Nm and is designed for transverse engines for large size cars. It uses 7-speed wet clutches.
Jatco 4-speed AT  The 4-speed AT for small FWD cars was renewed for the first time in 21 years. The change includes 11% shorter length, 15% lighter weight, and 16% less part count. Produced in Japan and China.
 The ATs produced in Japan are mainly used on minicars and for cars exported to overseas markets.
 The ATs produced in China are for cost-thrift entry-class cars and are used on Nissan March (the company produces CVT as well in China but the 4-speed ATs are cheaper to make).


Jatco: Reducing four CVT models to only two

Current New
Type Installed vehicles Type Installed vehicles
Minicar Minicars Jatco CVT7 Nissan March/Juke, Suzuki Swift/Wagon R (from minicar to vehicles with 1.5L-1.6L engines)
Small Nissan Tiida/Cube/ Wingroad
Medium Nissan Serena/Dualis, Mitsubishi RVR Jatco CVT8 For vehicles with 2.0L-3.5L engines. Will be introduced globally, starting with Nissan new model introduced in 2012.
Large Nissan Altima/ Elgrand/Teana/Quest
(Notes) 1. The CVT7 is the world first CVT with sub-transmissions designed for minicars and small cars. Its use started in 2009.
2. The CVT8 is for vehicles powered by 2.0 to 3.5L engines. The model for 2.0 to 2.5L engine-powered vehicles has a gear ratio of 7.0, one of the highest in class, and has approximately 40% less friction. Jatco strives to increase fuel economy by approximately 10% with the CVT8 series compared to its conventional CVTs (the company is unable to give detailed data as volume production has not started yet). Jatco will start volume production in early 2012 in Mexico and Japan.
3. Jatco has manufacturing plants in Japan, Mexico and China and is building a new plant in Thailand.



Steering technologies

 JTEKT exhibited, and showed images of, its intelligent front steering that integrated a variable gear ratio steering system and a rack direct-drive type electric power steering.

 Aisin Seiki exhibited the Active Rear Steering supplied for the new Lexus GS.

 Mitsubishi Electric exhibited the world's smallest and lightest motor controller unit for EPS to be launched in 2013.

Aisin Seiki's actuator for Active Rear Steering Aisin Seiki's actuator for Active Rear Steering (used on Toyota's new Lexus GS)

Mitsubishi Electric's next-generation motor controller unit Mitsubishi Electric's next-generation motor controller unit for electric power steering

Steering technologies

Intelligent Front Steering
JTEKT Intelligent Front Steering (IFS)  JTEKT has developed variable gear ratio steering (E-VGR). The system is integrated with the gear of the rack direct-drive type electric power steering (RD-EPS) to reduce the size and increase mountability. The two systems are referred to collectively as IFS (Intelligent Front Steering).
 On Toyota cars, the IFS constitutes a part of VDIM (Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management) and contributes to driving stability by correcting understeer and oversteer, etc. Used on Lexus cars, Crown Majesta etc.
E-VGR  In high vehicle speed range, the system reduces the tire angle relative to the steering wheel angle. In low vehicle speed range, the system increases the tire angle relative to the steering wheel angle.
RD-EPS  This EPS is designed to provide direct assist for the rack axle (located on the front axle and characterized by rack gears engaged with the pinion gears that transmit the motion of the steering wheel).

(Note) E-VGR:Electronically Controlled Variable Ratio Steering、RD-EPS:Rack direct-drive type electric power system.

Active Rear Steering
Aisin Seiki Actuator for Active Rear Steering  This system is designed to steer the front wheels and the rear wheels as well. When the car is steered at low speeds, the system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction from the front to reduce the turning radius thereby making it easier to complete a turn. When changing lanes at high speeds, the system steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front to increase driving stability.
 Used on the Renault Laguna and the new Toyota Lexus GS. The active (electric) stabilizer, available on the previous GS, is no longer available on the new GS.
Power steering-related technologies
JTEKT Variable flow control pump  This hydraulic power steering for large vehicles has a small electromagnet valve in the pump to control the discharge rate responding to vehicle speed and steering condition (by limiting the discharge rate when not steering). This has led to 50% energy savings (on ordinary hydraulic power steering systems, constant amount of oil is discharged by the engine power).
Hydraulic power steering system with motor-driven pump  This power steering is operated by hydraulic pressure generated by an electric pump. It reduces the engine load and increases fuel economy while maintaining the powerfulness of the conventional hydraulic power steering. Supplied for Nissan Elgrand, Mazda Axela etc.
 The hydraulic power steering gives a power steering feeling which is quite hard to forget. This is why it is still popular among large vehicle owners in today's market dominated by EPS.
Mitsubishi Electric Motor controller unit for EPS  Mitsubishi Electric has succeeded in integrating the motor with the controller to reduce the volume by 50% and the weight by 30% compared to the conventional products. The resulting motor controller unit, the smallest and lightest in the world (as of the end of September 2010), is scheduled for market launch in 2013.
 In 1988, Mitsubishi Electric, as Tier 2, developed the world first motor for EPS which was delivered to Koyo Seiko (JTEKT today). Since then, Mitsubishi Electric has become the largest manufacturer of EPS motors with over 20% share in the world. The next down the share list is Asmo that belongs to Denso Group.



Technologies addressing driving comfort and interior luxury

 Exhibits addressing driving comfort and interior luxury included the bamboo-made steering wheel by Tokai Rika, leather-made steering wheel loop, door trim and seats by Midori Hokuyo, a leather goods manufacturer, and a heated steering wheel by Toyoda Gosei.

 Toyota Boshoku exhibited the T-Brain concept car proposing a new form of automobiles featuring sports seats for four occupants and exciting packages.

Bamboo-made steering wheel Bamboo-made steering wheel exhibited by Tokai Rika (available on the new Lexus GS 450h) (bamboo material, right)

Steering wheel loop for Lexus GS Steering wheel loop for Lexus LS (exhibited by Midori Hokuyo, airbags under the central horn pad)

Cockpit module concept exhibited by Toyoda Gosei Cockpit module concept exhibited by Toyoda Gosei

"T-Brain" mobility space model "T-Brain" mobility space model exhibited by Toyota Boshoku is shown with the gull-wing door opened to the left)

"Relax seat" pointing to the ideal form of seating "Relax seat" pointing to the ideal form of seating (exhibited by TS Tech)

Technologies addressing driving comfort and interior luxury

Aisin Seiki Panorama moonroof  The all-glass panoramic roof gives extra value to the car's looks. Supplied for the Prius, Scion tC (North America) and Lexus ES (also in North America). The roof on the Prius has built-in solar panels that supply electricity to activate the ventilation system while the car is parked.
TOKAI RIKA Bamboo Steering Wheel  The steering wheel made of real bamboo gives a gentle yet assuring touch to the hand. Available on the new Toyota Lexus GS 450h.
Midori Hokuyo Leather steering wheel loop  The leather steering wheel loop is designed for Toyota Lexus LS (the steering wheel itself is supplied by Toyoda Gosei). The company also succeeded in making the horn pad of leather without affecting deployment of the airbags built into it.
 Used on the steering wheel of Toyota Lexus LFA (the steering wheel is supplied by Toyoda Gosei).
Leather seats  Samples of leather seats for existing cars were exhibited. Japanese OEMs have leather seats available on their midsize and larger models for Japanese markets. Also available on export models such as the Honda Fit and Suzuki Escudo.
TOYODA GOSEI Heated Steering Wheel  A heater is incorporated in the steering wheel ring to heat the grip surface and make driving in cold seasons more comfortable. Used on the Lexus LS and to be used on EV/HV as well in the future. By directly heating the driver's hands, the air conditioning temperature setting (heating) can be lowered to contribute to reducing fuel and battery power consumption.
Cockpit module concept  A cockpit of the near future representing fusion between IT and craftsmanship. The concept permits a broad range of variations with advanced HMI (Human Machine Interface) using a touch-screen combined with the leather, wood grain and metal textures and LED.
Denso Remote touch controller  The controller, located on the center console, lets the driver control car navigation, audio systems, air conditioning etc., without having to touch them. The control knob is synchronized with the pointer in the display and moves the pointer vertically and horizontally at the driver's will just like a computer mouse. Used on the Toyota Lexus RX, HS, CT, LFA.
TOYOTA BOSHOKU Mobility Interior Space "T-Brain"  The exhibited model inspired by the concept of "exciting mobility space for a family of four" features a new package that provides a fresh view and sports seats for four occupants that embrace them. Together, they let the occupants experience the fun and pleasure of driving.
TS TECH Relax seat  The "Relax seat" lets the occupant experience, at the touch of control, the "neutral posture" in a zero-gravity condition said to be the ideal form of seating. The seat incorporates a number of manipulators that can be set to the user's preference or physical make. Finished with textured leather and lacquer to ensure a pleasant sensation in every detail. Previously undisclosed.
Intelligent seat  The "Intelligent seat" supports the driving posture to help the driver feel a sense of oneness with the car when cornering etc., and experience the joy of driving. With the "side support function" that suppresses the body motion when cornering and the "variable seat back mechanism" that assists the driver's shoulder movement when steering, the "Intelligent seat" supports the driver snugly and comfortably. Previously undisclosed.



New technologies addressing safety

 Continental exhibited the "Accelerator Force Feedback Pedal," a motor-driven system that pushes the accelerator pedal back when it judges that the car must slow down. The company claims it is more effective than the warning lamp or audible alerts.

 U-Shin exhibited a stop-lamp switch without mechanical contacts that turns the brake lamp on and off by detecting change in the magnetic flux density.

New technologies addressing safety

Continental Accelerator Force Feedback Pedal  When the system judges that the accelerator pedal should be released as the car comes close to another car ahead, the system activates the associated motor to generate enough force to push back the pedal and warns the driver. In addition to increasing safety, the system alerts the driver of harsh acceleration or speeding to maintain a fuel-efficient driving style. The company claims the system could achieve up to 7% improvements on fuel efficiency.
 According to the drivers that tested the system, it gave a surer (stronger) response than a warning lamp or audible alerts. The system may be installed independent of or combined with a camera system or other driver assist systems.
 Among Japanese OEMs, Nissan has the system available under the name of the "Intelligent Pedal (Distance Control Assist)" on Nissan Fuga.
U-shin Switch without mechanical contacts  The switch has no mechanical contacts but has a Hall IC that monitors change in the magnetic flux density caused by the magnet moving, and this turns the stop-lamp on and off accordingly. This prevents problems associated with conventional switches, such as those caused by worn-out contacts and foreign matter. The system is being presented to the OEMs.
Neutral switch  The switch works on the same principle as the "switch without mechanical contacts" and is activated when a magnetic field is generated by an approaching metal plate. This eliminates the only physical contact left in the contactless switch and the switch works under more difficult environments such as judging the transmission shift positions.
Stanley Electric Monitoring areas surrounding a vehicle  In addition to camera-based imaging, the system measures distances by measuring elapsed time (TOF: Time of Flight) before the emitted infra-red ray returns after it is reflected by an object. This provides information about positions and distances that are hard to obtain from images alone.



Illumination equipment: All LED Headlamps exhibited by Koito

 Koito Manufacturing exhibited its concept car in which all lights are controlled automatically and the body itself emits light to serve specific functions.

 Koito's LED lamps were limited to low-beam lamps until recently. This year, the company exhibited "All LED Headlamps" (all but the turn lamps) to be used on the new Lexus GS 450h reaching the market in 2012.

 The improvement of LED performance has led to the use of LED headlamps with two LEDs each on the right and left sides on Toyota Prius at the time of refreshing in December 2011, and on the new Lexus GS 450h. Stanley Electric is also developing 2 by 2 LED headlamps that will add to power saving.

Koito's concept car "Next-generation lighting" Koito's concept car "Next-generation lighting"

Koito's All LED Headlamp (used on new Lexus GS 450h) Koito's All LED Headlamp (used on new Lexus GS 450h)

Illumination equipment

Koito Manufacturing Next-generation lighting  Concept car suggesting the next generation of lighting where everything is done automatically (turning lamps on and off, adjusting brightness, switching between low and high beams, etc.). Sections of the body also light up to indicate the car's conditions (battery charge etc.).
Adaptive Driving Beam Headlamp  The next-generation headlamp system (ADB: Adaptive Driving Beam Headlamp) uses the front monitoring camera to recognize other cars ahead and the vehicle speed and steering angle sensors to automatically control the range of light distribution accordingly. This increases the frontal view for the driver without blinding other drivers ahead or in opposing lanes.
 The Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) already in the market is designed to switch the low-beam direction according to the steering angle. According to Koito, the ADB is more technically challenging than the AFS as higher system precision is mandatory.
All LED Headlamp  Used on the new Lexus GS 450h exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011 and being released for sale in early 2012. All lamps other than the turn lamps are LED lamps including high-beam and infrared projection for night view assist.
 The use of LED lamps was limited to low-beam lighting until recently. The improvement of LED performance (higher brightness) has now led to the all-LED headlamps.
Headlamps with 2 by 2 LEDs  The Lexus LS 600h launched in 2007 had a 5 by 2 LED headlamp system developed by Koito (dubbed the first generation). Then, the second-generation headlamp (3 by 2 LED headlamps) was introduced in 2009. The third-generation LED lamps (2 by 2 LED lamps) are used on the Prius refreshed in December 2011 and the new Lexus GS 450h to be launched in early 2012.
Stanley Electric LED headlamp (mass production)  Stanley Electric supplies LED headlamp modules (3 by 2 LED lamps) weighing 1,000 g for Mitsubishi i-MiEV (introduced on panels).
LED headlamp (under development)  The company is now developing a more efficient LED headlamp module (2 by 2 LED lamps) weighing 400 g (introduced on panels).

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