Tokyo Motor Show 2013: Suppliers display safety systems and new lighting

Technologies for higher fuel economy, and new seat concepts




 The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show was held from November 20th to December 1st, 2013. This report covers suppliers' exhibitions for powertrains, technologies to improve fuel economy, seats, lighting and safety equipment for vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. Components for EVs and HVs are covered in a separate report. Denso and Bosch each introduced management systems which improves fuel economy of gasoline direct-injection engine and diesel engine. Toyota Boshoku, Tachi-S, TS Tech and NHK Spring introduced seats that are newly used on new models along with seats designed under new concepts. Koito Manufacturing and Stanley Electric introduced next-generation lighting systems that use innovative lighting patterns and laser lights.

Related Reports:
Tokyo Motor Show 2013

Japanese Maker part 1 Japanese Maker part 2 Non-Japanese OEMs
Supplier Part 1 Japanese Maker part 3 EV/FCV/CNG

Powertrains and associated components


Front-wheel drive 8-speed AT on Lexus RX F Sport
Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) 8-speed AT on Lexus RX F Sport exhibited by Aisin AW
Rack parallel type electric power steering
Rack parallel type electric power steering exhibited by JTEKT

☆Click the photo for a larger image.



Aisin AW FWD 8-speed AT  A high-capacity front-wheel drive 8-speed AT (All-Wheel Drive (AWD) type) used on the Lexus RX 350 F Sport. The AT is designed for transverse-mounted engines and is narrower than the longitudinal engine. (Other gasoline-fueled models in the RX series are fitted with 6-speed AT.)
Medium torque capacity CVT  The CVT is designed for 1500cc to 1800cc class engines. It is used on the Toyota Corolla, Corolla Fielder and Porte.
Aisin AI Sport version of Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) 6-speed MT  A sports version of the 6-speed MT which is equipped on the Toyota 86 is under development. The 1st and 2nd gears will have smaller gear ratios and the 6th gear will have a larger gear ratio. The resulting close-ratio transmission improves the vehicle's accelerating performances. According to Aisin AI, the driver may chiefly use 3rd to 5th gears for a greater joy of sports sensation.
ZF 9-speed AT  ZF exhibited a 9-speed AT (AWD type) for FWD vehicles.
Engine components
Schaeffler   Chrysler Tiger  
  Shark Engine
 Schaeffler exhibited Chrysler's four-cylinder 2400cc Tiger Shark engine. The company supplies the multi-air fully-variable valve train system (valve lift and phase control system), dual-mass flywheel and other components to Chrysler.
Ford Fox EcoBoost engine  The company exhibited Ford's three-cylinder 1000cc EcoBoost engine. Schaeffler supplies the variable cam timing system and other components and systems to Ford.
Electric power steering
JTEKT  Rack parallel type  
 electric power 
 JTEKT exhibited a rack-parallel type electric power steering (RP-EPS). The motor and the reduction gear are fitted in parallel to the rack to assist steering. It has a large output and is more easily installed than the rack-coaxial (rack-direct) type EPS (see below). The RP-EPS is supplied for European vehicles.
 The rack-direct electric power steering (RD-EPS) is used on the Lexus LS and other vehicles. The motor is fitted on the rack to assist the rack directly. While direct rack assist creates an ideal steering feel for the driver, its use is more or less limited to large vehicles as the rack-mounted motor can be bulky.



Technologies and systems for better fuel economy

 Denso and Bosch each introduced a comprehensive control system which increases fuel economy of gasoline direct-injection engines and diesel engines by improving the efficiency of fuel combustion.


The core of the 'gasoline direct-injection engine control system'
The core of the "gasoline direct-injection engine control system" exhibited by Denso


Technologies and systems for better fuel economy

Denso Gasoline direct-injection engine system  Gasoline direct-injection engines are drawing attention as an effective way to increase fuel economy. Since a direct-injection system can lower the temperature in the cylinder, it is highly compatible with a turbocharger that gets very hot. Denso's direct-injection system integrates injectors that inject fuel at 20MPa (compared with about 0.5MPa in a port-injection system) and high-precision air-fuel ratio feedback control. This combination gives optimal control of the fuel combustion to maintain high engine output and high fuel efficiency at the same time.
 Denso's gasoline direct-injection engine control system comprises high-pressure pump, high-pressure injectors, electric intake variable cam timing, exhaust variable cam timing, iridium spark plug and 4 to 5 sensors.
Bosch Gasoline direct-injection engine system  Bosch introduced a high-efficiency control system and its parts and subsystems for gasoline direct-injection turbocharged engines. The entire system is made up of 22 items that include high-pressure solenoid injectors (injecting fuel at about 20MPa), high-pressure pump, turbocharger and sensors. According to Bosch, the system will improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 15% based on NEDC regulation standard.
Denso Diesel engine management system  Denso presented the conceptual diagram of its diesel engine control system. The system chiefly comprises its original "Feedback Injection Control System" and super-high pressure (250MPa) diesel fuel injection technology. Denso also introduced associated system parts that the company can supply. According to Denso, the system will significantly improve the efficiency of fuel combustion while reducing the fuel consumption. The company is aiming for injection pressure of up to 300MPa.
Bosch Diesel engine management system  Bosch presented its diesel engine control system which comprises 26 items including piezoelectric injectors, high-pressure pump for fuel lubrication, electronic throttle body, start/ stop system and sensors. According to Bosch, the system will improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 14% based on NEDC regulation standard.
Nissin Kogyo Low-Drag Brake Caliper  Nissin Kogyo has been supplying "Low-Drag Brake Calipers" since 2012. The caliper separates the pad from the disk efficiently when the brakes are released. This reduces the drag by 85% compared with the conventional products. More stable drag reduction was achieved in the mass-produced calipers in 2013 over all speed ranges. The low-drag brake caliper contributes to increasing fuel economy that is comparable to 20 to 30% reduction in the vehicle weight.
 The brake pad is consumable and must be replaced when necessary. Since the brake structure prevents the pad from being fixed to the piston, the pad will slightly contact the disk after the piston retracts. This causes a drag. If the pad is placed too far away from the disk, the braking feel will be lost. Therefore subtle adjustment must be performed.



Lightweight and Low-cost Components


Front suspension member for Nissan Altima/Teana
Front suspension member for Nissan Altima/Teana fabricated by the tailor welded blanking process (exhibited by Yorozu).
Plastic balancer shaft gears
Plastic balancer shaft gears (two dark gears behind the balancer assy) supplied by Nippon Gasket for Toyota's four-cylinder engines for HV use.
Plastic windows
Plastic windows exhibited by Toyota Industries. The plastic quarter glazing with hard coat to meet driver visibility requirements on Toyota i-Road (left). The right-side quarter window on Toyota's "JPN TAXI Concept" (right).


Lightweight and Low-cost Components

Yorozu Front suspension member  Front suspension member for Nissan Altima/Teana. The tailor welded blank structure reduces the need for overlapping joints and contributes to weight and cost reduction.
Suspension member  The suspension member is for mid-size passenger cars. It was fabricated in China from local materials and using local production equipment and stamping dies. The fabricating method reduced the cost as well as the lead time before mass production.
Nippon Gasket Plastic Balancer shaft gears  Nippon Gasket, a Taiho Group company, exhibited plastic balancer shaft gears made of phenol resin with aramid fiber reinforcement. Mass production started in January 2013 for four-cylinder hybrid engines for Toyota Crown and Lexus GS/IS. The gear weight has been cut in half from the conventional metal gears.
 The balancer shaft is fitted to the crankshaft and reduces its vibrations. It is suitable for use especially on inline four-cylinder engines that are prone to unstable vibrations.
Toyota Industries Plastic window  Toyota Industries exhibited plastic right-side quarter window used on Toyota's "JPN TAXI Concept"" unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show 2013. The plastic window weighs 40% lighter than the conventional glass window.
Hard coat for driver visibility  The company also exhibited plastic quarter glazing on Toyota i-Road with hard coat to meet driver visibility requirements (also used on i-Road's door windows). Toyota Industries has developed special hard coat that meets legal requirements regarding the driver visibility.



Seats used on new models and seats based on new concepts


Front seat components
Front seat components developed by Toyota Boshoku and supplied for BMW i3. The component to the left contacts the driver's back.
T-BLISS, the interior concept mock-up of ultimate comfort and joy of mobility proposed by Toyota Boshoku
Concept X-1
Concept X-1 reflecting a whole-new definition of automobile seats (exhibited by Tachi-S).
Premium cradle seat
Premium cradle seat for the second row of Honda's all-new Odyssey (exhibited by TS Tech).


Various Seats

Toyota Boshoku Seats supplied for BMW i3  The front seat being supplied for BMW i3. The back frame is formed by glass-fiber reinforced nylon to realize a slim styling and weight reduction. The seat was developed in Germany-headquartered Boshoku Automotive Europe and is produced in Poland.
Interior concept T-BLISS  "Feeling good!" mobile space proposed by Toyota Boshoku wraps occupants peacefully with relaxing light, sound and smell. A mock-up was placed at the booth center for visitors to test the reclining seat complete with the headrest and ottoman.
TACHI-S TTK Frame  A mass-production item by Tachi-S, a global supplier of automobile seats. The standard frame is safe, lightweight and compact as well as versatile. It is supplied to Nissan mainly through a joint venture with Lear Corporation, and to Honda through partnership with Johnson Controls.
CFRP Frame  CFRP frame is a lightweight prototype. The back frame of theTTK frame is formed by CFRP.
Concept X-1  The Concept X-1 resulted from a thorough pursuit of basic functions of an automotive seat and the ideal design was redefined from scratch. Since the contact area of the occupant and the seatback is actually small, the contact area is designed to maintain the best driving posture at all times. The height of the seatback is adjustable.
 The compact design is ideal for ultra-micro EV as well with three seats positioned at the corner of a triangle.
TS TECH New Odyssey's Seats  TS Tech exhibited the "premium cradle seat" in the second row on Honda's all-new Odyssey. When the seatback is reclined, the interlocked seat front rises to snugly hold the occupant. The premium seat with the folding seatback and built-in ottoman is available on the ABSOLUTE・EX variant.
New Fit's seats  The rear seat for the all-new Fit is 10% lighter in weight than that of the previous model. The two rear seats may be raised upright to create a large space in the vehicle center. The two seatbacks may be folded forward to create a large flat space that extends to the trunk.
CFRP Frame  The CFRP seat frame only comprises two parts and weighs 0.68kg. This represents a remarkable weight reduction from the ordinary seat frame that comprises 8 parts and weighs 3.35kg.
Aibou or buddy seat  TS Tech would like to develop a seat which can analyze the physique and conditions of a passenger and can suggest the passenger's ideal posture for "Sitting down". As a first step, the company developed the "Aibou" or "buddy" seat which identifies the occupant and automatically offers the best personalized seating position. The prototype is a near-futuristic seat that uses various adjusting mechanisms to automatically adjust the seat according to the occupant's physique. The seat is also adjusted according to the road conditions (for instance, the seat snuggles the occupant's shoulders when the car is turning). There was a demonstration seat available at the booth for visitors.
Drowsiness reduction seat  The seat employs a cushion sensor that can detect the driver's respiratory variation such as deep breath and yawning. It determines whether the driver is drowsy and, if necessary, activates the vibration motor built into the seat to alert the driver.
NHK Spring Seats  NHK Spring exhibited seats that are used on the Nissan Fuga, Subaru Legacy Outback and Suzuki Solio.



New lighting equipment and lighting of the future


LED headlamp
LED headlamp used on Nissan Skyline/Infiniti Q50 (exhibited by Koito)
ADB shutter
ADB shutter (with moveable shades) associated with the adaptive headlamp (exhibited by Koito). The shutter is shown in low-beam mode in the photo. In high-beam mode, the central portion of the shade (dark element) folds down to allow more light (inverted by a reflecting mirror).


New lighting equipment

Koito Manufacturing 4th generation LED headlamp  The progress in LED chip technology has led Koito to develop the fourth-generation LED headlamp having only a single headlamp on each side of the vehicle. The new product is already used on the Lexus IS and Nissan Skyline/Infiniti Q50 (the world-first LED headlamps mass-produced for the Lexus LS in 2007 had five LEDs on one side).
All LED Headlamp The LED headlamp for Nissan Skyline/Infiniti Q50 is the first automotive LED headlamp in Japan that entirely consists of LEDs (conventional LED headlamps are used in combination with turn signal lamps that use halogen lamps for technical reasons).
Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)  The "Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)" headlamp system uses a camera to detect another vehicle ahead and automatically controls the light distribution from the headlamp. The system uses the maximum high-beam lighting for maximum front visibility without glaring other drivers ahead or in the opposite lane. It consists of the camera for detecting the relative position of another vehicle ahead, the headlamp with a variable light distribution function (using the ADB shutter) and the ECU that judges the area to be blocked and the light distribution pattern.
 Koito supplies the ADB type LED headlamps for the Lexus LS and Toyota Majesta, and the ADB type High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps for the Crown Royal/Athlete.


 Koito and Stanley Electric presented their concepts of lighting of the future. Koito introduced "New-Styling" that gives motion to light and may reach the market in 2014 at the earliest if the applicable regulation is amended. Koito also proposed "Next-Generation Lighting" (lighting of the future) in search of ultimate possibilities with illuminating body sections. Stanley Electric presented a futuristic lighting system called "Trans-Mode Lighting" incorporating laser front lamps and the ADB (Adaptive Driving Beam) system.


Koito introduced "New-Styling" light that has motion as well as depth
A visual presentation of "Next-Generation Lighting" by Koito in pursuit of future dreams and possibilities of light.
Trans-Mode Lighting
"Trans-Mode Lighting" system by Stanley Electric. Only the vehicle's rear is shown.


Futuristic lighting equipment

Koito Manufacturing NEW-STYLING  Koito's new design of lighting gives motion and depth to light. It could reach markets on road-worthy vehicles in 2014 if the applicable law is amended.
 Koito expresses elegance and vigorousness with light and form. For instance, when the turn signal light goes on, the light guide pulsates like a wave to increase visibility and alert other drivers and pedestrians.
 An array of lenses produces a sense of depth and spatial effect. For instance, lenses are staggered to increase the light's expansion or placed over the other to increase light's intensity and a sense of depth.
NEXT-GENERATION LIGHTING  Koito had visual presentation of "light of the future" as a communication tool between people and the vehicle. Various parts of the vehicle body are illuminated to express the vehicle's "feeling." For instance, message light may be used saying "Enjoy your drive" on the side.
 According to Koito, "Next-Generation Lighting" pursues future dreams and possibilities of light rather than realistic possibility that is sought by "New STYLING" mentioned above.
Stanley Electric Trans-Mode Lighting  Stanley Electric presented the "Trans-Mode Lighting" system that uses randomly changing light patterns to express intuitive communication.
 The system has four patterns for four different scenes; Answer back (responds to outside message), City Mode, Highway Mode, and Fog Mode. The system also incorporates laser front lights and ADB (Adaptive Driving Beam) technology.
 Stanley Electric developed laser front lights that were used on the third model under the SIM-Drive Project in March 2013. A laser light is 2.5 times brighter than LED and reaches greater distances.



Safety equipment


Safety and environment wired mockup demonstration car
"Safety and environment wired mockup demonstration car" exhibited by Toyoda Gosei with "360-degrees occupant full protection airbag."
High performance ESC modulator
"High performance ESC modulator" exhibited by Advics with a unique gear pump.


Safety equipment

Toyoda Gosei 360° Occupant Airbag Protection  Airbags are installed in all directions to increase occupants' safety. Toyoda Gosei is the first airbag manufacturer in the world to introduce curtain airbags, rear-seat impact airbags and rear-seat center airbags for commercial application.
 The company also highlighted the development of hood airbags for pedestrians (to mitigate head injuries) and grille airbags (to mitigate lumbar and leg injuries).
Other safety equipments  The safety and environment wired mockup demonstration car also had "pop-up hood actuator" and "millimeter-wave radar emblem" (an emblem that transmits millimeter wave and was developed with plastic molding and decorating technologies).
Denso    Corner Clearance 
 (On right-hand drive vehicles = left-hand traffic) A camera is mounted on the front left-side door. It monitors the road conditions under the front left-side of the vehicle to prevent contact with an obstacle. The use of a camera gives higher precision than similar systems that use sonar technology.
ADVICS ESC Modulator  The ESC modulator employs a gear pump manufactured by Advics' patented technology. The gear pump uses the meshing of two gears. Fluid is drawn in and pumped out as the gears rotate. The gear pump enables quieter and more precise control than the piston type gear pump.
 According to Advics, the gear pump type ESC is the far better choice for regenerative brakes, Lane Keep Assist and Full Speed Range ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) systems.


 Denso introduced active safety equipment packages under Entry, Standard and Premium classifications. According to Denso, they are useful when deciding which safety features may be used on specific vehicles. For instance, laser radar reaches only about 100 meters which is not enough for ACC system use. Yet, it is used on the low-speed collision prevention (or damage mitigation) systems in Daihatsu and Suzuki's mini vehicles.


Active Safety System Package

Entry package Standard Package Premium Package
  Low-speed Autonomous            
  Emergency Braking
  (preceding vehicle)
      Autonomous Emergency Braking (Preceding vehicle/pedestrian)
  Lane Departure Warning       Lane Departure Warning + Lane Keeping Assist
Auto High Beam
Traffic Sign Recognition
       Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control
  Road Departure Prevention
  (without white line)
  Collision Mitigation
  (Blind Intersection)
Entry package Standard Package Premium Package
  Laser Radar Sensor        Millimeter-wave Radar Sensor (Long Range Radar Sensor)
Vision Sensor   Stereo Vision Sensor
  Short Range Radar Sensor
  Sonar Sensor

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