Mitsubishi Electric Corporation Business Report FY ended Mar. 2018
During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, total sales of the Company increased 4.5% y/y to JPY 4,431,198 million.
Sales of the Industrial mechatronics segment that includes automotive business increased to JPY 1,444,900 million. Sales and income both increased this fiscal year. Sales of automotive equipment exceeded JPY 600 billion.
ｰFactors: Sales of the Automotive equipment business increased due mainly to a sales increase of Japanese automakers in China despite a fall in new car sales in North America.
ｰAutomotive equipment division is working on the followings with the aim of developing environmentally-friendly technologies and achieving safety, realiability and comfort by combining and integrating a wide range of highly efficient equipment including electric powertrain systems and advanced control technologies:
- Reducing environmental burden and improving fuel efficiency: Global supply of wide range of highly efficient equipment and the provision of electric powertrain systems
- Improving comfort while driving: Use of next-generation information equipment integrating entertainment, navigation, connectivity and driver assistance functions
- Realizing safe and comfortable autonomous driving: Strengthening communication technologies and infrastructure projects
Autonomous driving technology development
ｰThe Company is advancing autonomous driving technologies making use of: vehicle-infrastructure cooperatinve systems to obtain high-accuracy position information from quasi-zenith satellites, GPS and other positioning satellite systems through high precision locators; and autonomous systems using onboard cameras, radars and sensors.
At the company's business strategy briefing held in Tokyo, President & CEO Masaki Sakuyama stated that the company will focus on developing both autonomous systems and vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems to realize autonomous driving. Mitsubishi Electric will develop autonomous systems that will control autonomous driving by combining vehicle surrounding monitoring and information utilization devices. In the development of vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems, the company will obtain information from infrastructure like quasi-zenith satellites and road-to-vehicle communication systems, and is aiming to realize centimeter-class high-accuracy automotive positioning technology by means of high-precision mapping and positioning technologies. Autonomous driving development is increasingly competitive, and Mitsubishi Electric aims to realize autonomous driving by 2020 or later by promoting research and development of both autonomous systems and vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 22, 2017)
- In September 2017, the Company started a demonstration test of autonomous driving using CLAS signals with its xAUTO vehicle featuring autonomous driving technologies.
The company conducted a test ride for the media of its xAUTO vehicle featuring autonomous driving technologies at its Ako proving ground in Ako City, Hyogo Prefecture. The xAUTO is an experimental vehicle with sensor-based autonomous driving technology, and infrastructural driving technology utilizing the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS). The car has been tested on expressways since May 2016. Specifically, the xAUTO features autonomous driving technology combining millimeter radars and cameras, and infrastructural driving technology matching satellite positioning information obtained by centimeter-level augmentation service broadcast from the QZSS with high-accuracy 3D maps. Mitsubishi Electric says the combination of these two technologies will widen the scope of safe driver assistance during bad visibility in dense fog and snow. The test car also features emergency measures, in case the driver loses consciousness during driving, by utilizing an occupant detection system for driver monitoring. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 18, 2017)
- In October 2017, the Company and HERE of the Netherlands agreed on a collaboration for the expansion of high-precision position information provision services.
ｰThe Company forecasts that the autonomous driving systems market will expand to 100 million vehicles or more by FY 2030. It conducts demonstration tests of the technology both in and outside Japan with the aim of establishing its own safe autonomous driving technologies. In addition, the Company is collaborating with its business partners both in Japan and abroad to enhance competitiveness and promote its operations globally and standardization.
The Company joins hands with HERE of the Netherlands for developing onboard equipment, Sapcorda Services of Germany for high-precision positioning, and Dynamic Map Platform for high-precision 3D maps.
Bosch, Mitsubishi Electric, Geo++ and u-blox announced the creation of Sapcorda Services GmbH, a joint venture that will bring high precision GNSS positioning services to mass market applications. The four parties recognized that existing solutions for GNSS positioning services do not meet the needs of emerging high precision GNSS mass markets. As a result, they decided to join forces to facilitate the establishment of a worldwide available and affordable solution for System Integrators, OEMs and receiver manufactures. Sapcorda Services will offer globally available GNSS positioning services via internet and satellite transmission and enable centimeter-accurate precision for GNSS. The services are designed to serve high volume automotive, industrial and consumer markets. The real-time correction data service is provided in an open format, is publicly accessible, and is not tied to receiver hardware or systems. (From a press release on August 8, 2017)
|(in millions of JPY)|
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2018||FY ended Mar. 31, 2017||FY ended Mar. 31, 2016|
|-Industrial automation systems||69,500||66,400||70,800|
-The company announced that it has developed smart-control artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI and multiple sensors detect changes in objects in real time. This enables automation of tasks that are conventionally difficult for industrial robots, such as inserting cable connectors. The technology will initially be mounted on the company's own equipment systems. The automatic generation of optimal control algorithms through deep reinforcement-learning frees designers from having to redesign complex control algorithms. At a briefing held at Mitsubishi Electric's Information Technology R&D Center in Kamakura City, Kanagawa, there was a demonstration of an industrial robot inserting connectors with its arms equipped with a camera and a force sensor at the tip of the arm. Mitsubishi Electric expects the technology will have commercial application for a variety of personal computers and automatic guided vehicles (AGVs). (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on February 14, 2018)
-It has developed smart-control artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI and multiple sensors detect changes in objects in real time. This enables automation of tasks that are conventionally difficult for industrial robots, such as inserting cable connectors. The technology will initially be mounted on the company's own equipment systems. The automatic generation of optimal control algorithms through deep reinforcement-learning frees designers from having to redesign complex control algorithms. At a briefing held at Mitsubishi Electric's Information Technology R&D Center in Kamakura City, Kanagawa, there was a demonstration of an industrial robot inserting connectors with its arms equipped with a camera and a force sensor at the tip of the arm. Mitsubishi Electric expects the technology will have commercial application for a variety of personal computers and automatic guided vehicles (AGVs). (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on February 14, 2018)
-It has developed a realistic "texture expression" technology, named Real Texture, that makes vehicle displays and digital signage appear to be realistic metallic-like surfaces for added viewing appeal. It adjusts gloss and shading in real-time according to the person's viewing angle. Real Texture consists of 2D flat display (parallax stereographic display not required) and camera to track viewer's facial position. It is expected to be commercialized for vehicle instrument panels and signage displays in the near future. (From a press release on February 14, 2018)
-The company announced that it has developed new automotive ground-illuminating technology that prevents accidents. The company developed a system that projects large animated illuminations on roads and a system that is linked with external sensors and signals the opening of doors and reverse movement of vehicles. It also created a development tool that evaluates how the illumination patterns are seen. The new illuminations are easy to see even in bad weather conditions like snow, and the flowing lighting is easy to understand vehicle actions for children and other pedestrians who don't know traffic rules. Mitsubishi Electric will continue research and development for commercialization from fiscal year 2020 (ends in March 2021). (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on February 9, 2018)
-The company announced that it has developed an automotive safety and security lighting system. The new system will signal the actions of vehicles like reverse movement and the opening of doors by projecting easy-to-understand light illustrations on roads to prevent accidents. The new system, in combination with complementary car-body displays, will make it easy for surrounding drivers and pedestrians to recognize the movement of vehicles during daytime hours. Mitsubishi Electric will promote the system to automakers, and is aiming to establish a safety lighting business from 2020. To achieve this goal, the company will make the system compliant with laws and regulations, and improve the projection methods and visible distance. The system is expected to be used as an aftermarket accessory as well as a genuine accessory. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 11, 2017)
-The company announced that it has developed a new automotive electric mirror technology that detects objects up to 100 meters behind vehicles. The company developed an automotive built-in system that recognizes objects in real time by utilizing its original visual cognition model and artificial intelligence technologies. Drivers will receive advanced warning of vehicles approaching fast from behind, which helps prevent lane change accidents. Mitsubishi Electric will further improve detection accuracy for night and bad weather conditions by combining millimeter-wave and LiDAR sensors. The visual cognition model uses the company's original algorithm that is based on the fact that people's attention is attracted to noticeable areas. Mitsubishi Electric improved the maximum detection distance from 30 meters to 100 meters, and the average detection accuracy from 14% to 81%. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 18, 2018)
-The company announced that it has developed a crankshaft-mounted integrated starter-generator (ISG) system for 48V hybrid vehicles (HVs). The crankshaft direct-driven ISG system is the auto industry's first to be put into mass production. The new system will be mounted in Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz vehicles. The new ISG system has a crankshaft-mounted motor. Compared to belt-driven starter-generators, the crankshaft-mounted motor produces higher output power and generates more electricity, which contributes to better fuel efficiency. Mitsubishi Electric's original coil winding technology realizes a high-density configuration for thick coils required in a 48V high-current motor. The new system combines both the high-power motor and thin-profile to adapt flexibly to various vehicle layouts. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 17, 2017)
-The company announced that it has developed a new driver monitoring system using one wide-angle camera to cover the driver and front passenger. The new system simultaneously monitors both front occupants and contributes to enhanced cabin comfort by optimizing air conditioning and other systems. The new product is scheduled to be put into practical use sometime from around 2018. By constantly tracking the driver and front passenger it can detect dangerous driving behavior, such as loss of focus or sleepiness. In addition, it selects music suited to the car's occupants and provides assistance by optimally changing air conditioning settings in response to the presence or absence of passengers. It has a function to recognize face and hand gestures of both the driver and the front passenger to allow them to control in-vehicle devices. In the future, it will detect abnormal postures including the slumping over or collapsing backwards of an occupant seized with a sudden illness. Mitsubishi Electric will exhibit the developed system at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 6, 2017)
-The company announced that it has developed an ultra-compact silicon carbide (SiC) inverter for hybrid vehicles (HVs) that is the world's smallest SiC inverter of its type at just five liters volume. The company will proceed to develop it for mass production, with the aim of commercializing it around 2021. Demand for HVs and electric vehicles is growing and these electrified vehicles require on-board space for apparatus placement. Consequently, miniaturization of inverters is called for to free up vehicle interior space. In response to this need, Mitsubishi Electric developed the new ultra-compact SiC inverter. It is compatible with two-motor hybrid systems used in HEVs. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on April 7, 2017)
-The company announced that it has developed automated mapping and difference extraction technologies for efficient creation and update of high-precision three-dimensional maps. Mitsubishi Electric will put these new technologies to practical use by utilizing artificial intelligence and the Mitsubishi Mobile Mapping System to prepare for the early creation of dynamic maps that indicate traffic signals, surrounding vehicles, and other information required for autonomous driving. In October, Mitsubishi Electric will start sales of its automated mapping and difference extraction software to map makers including Dynamic Map Planning Co. Ltd., in which it has a stake. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on April 4, 2017)
|(in millions of JPY)|
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2018||FY ended Mar. 31, 2017||FY ended Mar. 31, 2016|
|-Industrial automation systems||68,376||60,233||54,653|
Planned Capital Investment
|(In millions of JPY)|
|FY ending Mar. 31, 2019
|Main investment and its purpose|
|-Industrial automation systems||112,000||Increased production of FA equipment and automotive devices|