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Core Technologies

Intention estimation (Personal Assistant)

Clarion is building a Personal Assistant 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, commonly-used routes, and use of onboard devices, eliminating time-consuming setup and operation, and giving the user the information and functions they want, when they want them.

Cutting-edge AI technology allows the Personal Assistant to make accurate decisions based on what's going on inside and outside of the vehicle, accurately providing the most suitable features the user wants. 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 user's profile and preferences with appropriate timing. The more 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 user enters one into their navigation system, suggesting alternative routes to avoid traffic. Analyzing drivers’ unique driving habits and helping them avoid high-risk driving aid 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 updates secure, 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)

The TCU is a key device that connects vehicles with the outside world. Using its built-in LTE, Wi-Fi, and other communication functions, the TCU connects the 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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End to End Navigation

Clarion is developing a service known as End to End Navigation which guides users to their destinations with a minimum of control work, keeping their focus away from 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 at home 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 routes to their final destination.

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

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Vehicle Networking Technology

Clarion is using C2X (Car-to-X) networking to make ADAS/autonomous driving 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 C2X communication. Clarion is contributing by developing network units and solutions in tandem with the Hitachi Group's autonomous driving systems. C2X's main benefit is its high response speed. For example, before a camera or radar system can pick up on another car changing lanes, C2C (Car-to-Car) networking can tell if the car's turn signal is on or the steering wheel is being turned. A bidirectional system not only recognizes objects but also communicates between cars and people to warn about their actions or intentions in advance. 

Therefore, the system can acquire information that conventional vehicle detection systems cannot acquire.

This information will be provided to both autonomous driving systems and drivers via 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. 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 industrial vehicles, such as trucks and construction equipment.

Industrial 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 view technology provides full visual support around the vehicle for drivers. Combined with image recognition technology, it can also detect obstacles from any direction and give warnings to drivers when going at low speeds or high speeds. We are developing Blind Spot Warnings to detect vehicles in blind spots when driving at high speed, as well as Lane Departure Warnings to prevent weaving or distracted driving.

Clarion is also using this image recognition technology to develop vehicle monitoring features to aid in Automatic Parking Systems. Image recognition is used to create parking space recognition technology that helps users find a space and park automatically. We are combining this with wireless technology to develop Remote Parking features that make it possible to park even in tight spaces.

Going forward, Clarion will work with Hitachi Automotive Systems, using their image recognition, radar, and stereo camera technologies 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 dash cams. 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 dash cams 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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SOLiD AD-1 UA-1138T

Solutions using partner systems

Clarion’s SOLiD AD-1 series of onboard devices for commercial vehicles comes with a platform that makes it easy to develop custom Android OS apps, allowing for navigation-oriented solutions suited to a variety of business operations.

We used this device to develop the UA-1138T model for garbage trucks, which was released in February 2017. The onboard device includes an app optimized for the multi-destination routes taken by garbage trucks, combined with Smart Access For Enterprise (SAFE) for managing collection points to provide a new cloud server-based solution to replace the old analog system, reliant on paper maps and driver knowledge.

Implementing this system solves a number of issues:

  • Reliable operation with no missed collections
  • Use as a route training tool for new drivers
  • Handling of unexpected driver absences
and more.

Collection point data previously managed with paper maps is added to and managed on SAFE, making it easy to add/delete points and manage designated routes and paths. Data created on SAFE can be linked to onboard terminals via USB storage to combine it with maps, providing direct support to drivers on the ground.

In the future, we will provide a full “Smart Cockpit” solution to provide connection with safety data devices, better links with external data providers, and leveraging big data using Smart Access to create new value in safety, security, and business streamlining -- value which we can then provide to customers. As we enter the IoT era, Clarion is also taking on large-scale challenges in social innovation, linking with Hitachi’s Lumada IoT platform to provide big-data services for general-purpose car navigation systems and solving business issues for customers in more industries.

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