Mitsuo Matsushita has hardly gotten his seat warm as the new president and CEO of Denso International America, Inc. and he’s already talking about where the company wants to be in 2015.
Mitsuo Matsushita has hardly gotten his seat warm as the new president and CEO of Denso International America, Inc. and he’s already talking about where the company wants to be in 2015. In a discussion of the recently formulated “Denso Vision 2015” plan, he lays out some key technologies that Denso has targeted to become important parts of the company’s product portfolio within the next decade.
- Heads-up displays. As an early pioneer and top provider of navigation systems, Denso has a lot of experience in fitting in-dash displays. Matsushita says that in the future the company will concentrate more on windshield display technology. “The main reason is safety. It is a disturbance to the driver to have to look at a console-mounted display,” he says. But that doesn’t mean the company is giving up on in-dash displays altogether. Matsushita thinks that many future vehicles will be equipped with both, even though a dual system would not be cheap. However, he acknowledges, “We must have a new breakthrough in technology to bring costs down.”
- Biometric monitoring. Denso engineers are working on an HVAC system that can measure occupant data like body temperature and heart rate and automatically adjust each passenger’s microclimate accordingly. And while this might seem like technological overkill to some, Matsushita says the goal is to achieve more subtle changes than can currently be achieved and give a vehicle’s interior climate a more natural feel.
- Advanced common-rail diesel. To boost the efficiency and environmental friendliness of its fuel injection systems, Denso is working on a very high-pressure 200-megapascal common rail diesel system that’s targeted at meeting Tier II federal emission requirements with a minimum of after-treatment.
Matsushita is bullish on the prospects for telematics in the U.S., though he acknowledges that it is a harder sell than in trendy, tech-savvy Japan. “People are more practical in the U.S.; if a device is not practical they don’t buy it,” he says. “But things will change when people start to grasp the services available through telematics. When they get to know the conveniences, they will go for it.”—KEW