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Core Technologies

Behavioral Intention Estimation (AI Agent)

Clarion is building an AI agent that combines its strengths in onboard devices, cameras, cloud networking and automotive networking with the latest artificial intelligence technology. This system predicts users’ intentions based on information like map data, user travel history and onboard device control history. For example, it can predict where the user is going, frequently-used routes and onboard device operations, eliminating time-consuming setup and operation and giving the users the information and functions they want, when they want them.

Cutting-edge AI technology allows the AI agent to make accurate decisions based on what's going on inside and outside of the vehicle, accurately providing the most suitable features required by the users. For example, it can accurately gauge the situation inside the vehicle (occupants, genders, ages, emotions, etc.) and automatically adjust the seats, mirrors and air conditioning accordingly — something that was previously difficult to achieve. It can also identify complex scenes (locations, statuses, etc.) and provide features (music, news, UI design, etc.) that match the users' profile and preferences with appropriate timing. The more often drivers use these features, the more they will evolve to match driver needs.

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Smart Access

Clarion’s Smart Access is a Connected Car Solution that makes use of onboard features like navigation systems, car audio, and cameras, as well as cloud-based networks and mobile devices like smartphones.

<Car Entertainment Solutions>

We provide applications that allow you to enjoy Internet radio while driving, as well as search for gas stations, parking lots, and other local facilities. Apps are stored in the cloud and added or updated constantly to ensure users always have access to the latest in great driving experiences.

<Seamless Solutions>

Users are involved with their cars in more ways than simply driving them. Clarion's seamless solutions keep users constantly connected to their cars, combining a variety of services seamlessly into one portal to provide a comfortable user experience. Driving plans created on a smartphone or PC can be automatically shared with your car navigation system. When you go back to your car after shopping or dining, you can use your smartphone to check where you parked. Businesses managing commercial vehicles can remotely monitor the state of vehicles and drivers, streamlining operation and cutting costs.

<Personalized Solutions>

By collecting, storing, and analyzing detailed operational data from multiple onboard and mobile devices, we provide services that match users’ unique needs. For example, our services can analyze gathered data to predict destinations and routes before the users enters one into their navigation system, suggesting alternative routes to avoid traffic. Analyzing drivers’ unique driving habits and helping them avoid high-risk driving in improving safety. Personalized services help provide a safe, comfortable driving experience to users, as well as supporting auto-related businesses.

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OTA (Over The Air)

OTA is a core technology that wirelessly connects to a server to obtain the latest software in a timely manner, making updates a snap. Clarion is working on OTA technology development to make sure users are always using products safely and securely with the latest software. To keep security, we use technology that authenticates the update servers and detects improper alteration of the software obtained. We also work to minimize the wait time and network data usage, producing a system that updates products as smoothly as possible. Our advances in OTA technology help us provide solutions that give users true product security.

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TCU (Telematics Communication Unit)

TCU is a key device that connects vehicles with the outside world. Using its built-in LTE, Wi-Fi, and other communication functions, TCU connects ECU(Electronic Control Unit) with servers on external networks through CAN(Controller Area Network) or onboard Ethernet.

Through our work on vehicle data notification, remote-control vehicle operation, and emergency (eCall) features, we are developing features that give vehicles access to high-precision map data and ECU software updates, both essential to autonomous driving, as well as data from sensors and video cameras. We are also developing security features for transmitting data that affects vehicle safety.

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Door to Door Navigation

Clarion is working on the development of a service called Door to Door Navigation, which guides users to their destination with minimal input or need to pay attention to their devices.

The system uses the Smart Access cloud-based network service to manage and share data with devices. For example, users can search for a destination and route on their home PC before departing, then bring the route up on their in-car navigation systems. Once the drive is over, they can then seamlessly use their smartphones to get walking directions to their final destination.

It also considers traffic information and user preferences to provide a service that's safer, more secure and more comfortable to use.

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Vehicle Networking Technology

Clarion uses V2X (Vehicle-to-X) networking to make ADAS/autonomous driving even safer and more comfortable. “X” can refer to vehicles, roadside infrastructure, pedestrians and anything else. It can also link up with automatic parking systems and automatic merging into high-speed highways. Many countries around the world are standardizing, testing and running autonomous driving systems. Clarion is contributing by developing network units and solutions in tandem with the Hitachi Group's autonomous driving systems. The advantage of V2X is that it reacts quickly. For example, with C2C (Car-to-Car) networking, before a camera or radar system can pick up on another car changing course, the other car will flash its turn signal and indicate that the steering wheel is being turned. Using a bidirectional system that goes beyond mere recognition and actively communicates between cars and people to warn about their actions or intentions in advance can give information not previously available from vehicle detection systems to drivers via autonomous driving systems and HMI, allowing them to work cooperatively with other people and vehicles.

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Exclusive Audio Technology

Interior environments vary significantly from vehicle to vehicle. There can be wide differences in audio acoustics, as well as ambient noise while driving. This remains true even in the age of autonomous driving. To tackle this, Clarion performs specialized tuning for each vehicle model, providing the best possible audio for any vehicle. We are also developing the Intelligent Tune software package, which uses audio psychology based on what sounds are most pleasant to the human ear, to smoothly and naturally communicate audio data.

In addition, Clarion is developing Full Digital Sound technology as a solution that is both environmentally friendly and provides premium sound. The Full Digital Sound system transmits the complete digital sound from the source to the speaker with no need for a power amplifier. It not only faithfully reproduces the sound, but also contributes to fuel efficiency through its lightweight, low-power-consumption electronics. Even with electric cars, where power consumption has a direct effect on cruising range, you can enjoy high-quality audio with peace of mind. Clarion provides a comfortable space in the age of autonomous driving.

Furthermore, we are proceeding with development of the InfoSeat, which will directly and clearly transmit information to the driver through sound and vibration. As a result of greater connectedness and autonomization, the onboard sensors and network are processing more information than the driver can take in, giving rise to the need for a new method of conveying information. The InfoSeat solves this problem: the driver receives information from vibration devices embedded in the driver's seat, speakers installed in the headrest, and controllers of the vehicle and onboard information system. In developing the various devices and IP for the InfoSeat, Clarion is utilizing the audio technology cultivated through manufacturing audio products. Clarion is striving to make new audio technology a reality to provide the best in-vehicle audio information and music.

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Example of next-generation SurroundEye display

Onboard Camera Systems

Using multiple onboard cameras installed around the vehicle, and an ECU with our exclusive image processing, Clarion provides a full-coverage overhead video image that gives the driver visual support around the entire vehicle.

This technology is being deployed to both passenger and commercial vehicles, such as trucks and construction equipment.

Commercial vehicles are larger than passenger cars, creating more blind spots for operators to deal with. Clarion provides Overhead View Monitor camera systems to large vehicles like buses, trucks, and construction equipment, contributing to their safe operation. Using cutting-edge technology for digital image processing from high-definition cameras, we can provide more detailed images with longer ranges than previous systems, dramatically improving visibility around vehicles.

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Sensing Functions

Clarion's latest full-range overhead viewing technology provides full visual support around the vehicle for drivers. Combined with image recognition technology and other sensors, it can also detect obstacles from any direction and give warnings to drivers whether traveling at low speeds or high speeds. We are developing Blind Spot Warnings to detect vehicles in blind spots when driving at high speed or changing lanes, as well as Lane Departure Warnings to prevent weaving and distracted driving.

Clarion has also developed an automatic parking feature using vehicle environs observation and parking space recognition technology that combines real image recognition data and ultrasonic sensor data. Image recognition is used to create parking space recognition technology that helps users find a space and park automatically. We are also developing Park by Memory, which improves the accuracy of your parking at home. The technology combines the overhead image from the SurroundEye system, environs sensing data provided by the sonar signal and position data from the car navigation system.

Going forward, Clarion will work with Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd., using their image recognition, radar, and stereo camera technology to develop more advanced recognition technology for autonomous driving systems.

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High-Sensitivity Camera Usable at Night

Clarion is developing a high-sensitivity camera that will allow SurroundEye and image recognition technologies to be used at night. Using broad dynamic-range technology and our exclusive signal processing techniques, we are developing a camera that can provide high-visibility images that minimize image deterioration in dark conditions.

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Smart Access For Enterprise

As part of our Smart Access For Enterprise (SAFE) system for commercial vehicles, we have developed a safety monitoring system using connected drive recorders. Previous dash cams were chiefly designed for recording in case of accidents. This service, made for businesses managing multiple vehicles, uses networking to not only record incidents, but also to support efficient driving to avoid accidents and reduce the burden on drivers/managers. Driver actions, routes, and other data are sent to and stored in the cloud for access at any time, helping build more efficient route plans and business operation. If an incident occurs, the system provides real time video to allow the local situation to be viewed remotely, making full use of networking.

Networked drive recorders constantly record while reading other data from vehicles, requiring a constantly-running server system and leading to security issues related to handling customer vehicle locations and video. Using our expertise in server systems gained from Smart Access, Clarion provides a high-level service that boasts 24-hour stable operation and secure networking, fully supporting the continued operation of customer business. With many connections with service providers and networking companies, Clarion can provide the best possible solutions, regardless of fleet size or industry type. Our customer-oriented approach allows us to continue providing services that contribute to business efficiency and problem solving.

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Solutions Using Partner Systems

By connecting up various devices such as drive recorders etc., to the service platform SAFE, Clarion allows each customer to gather and store the data they need and enables the solving of operational problems.

For example, using the device configuration data created at the time of manufacture allows us to provide a maintenance service for onboard devices. Connecting to customers' vehicle management system data enables us to understand the vehicle's ownership and servicing plan, allowing total support for onboard devices, from installation through maintenance, repair and removal. Providing onboard devices as a system, Clarion can provide hardware all in one, from onboard devices such as digital tachographs and drive recorders to TCU communications devices.

SAFE grasps this information from the time of manufacture and automatically updates onboard devices' software OTA. Onboard device maintenance and software version management are carried out all together, allowing customer companies' drivers to concentrate on driving safely, and fully supporting customers' business continuity.

In the future, Smart Cockpit Solutions will provide connection with all sorts of safety data devices, strengthen links with external data providers and leverage big data using Smart Access to create new value in safety, security, and business streamlining — value which we can then provide to customers. Furthermore, Clarion has links with service providers and communications companies under the Hitachi Group umbrella, and we can propose the optimum solution for anyone regardless of the number of vehicles or type of industry, from major logistics corporations to local delivery companies. Our customer-oriented approach in the fields of both data and hardware allows us to continue providing services that contribute to business efficiency and problem solving.

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