Hello, everyone. I am Yasumori Ihara, President of Aisin Seiki.
I thank you very much for stopping by at our Aisin Group’s booth today.
This year, we marked the 50th anniversary since the Aisin Group was born.I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the support you have extended to us to date.
Aisin Seiki was born when “Aichi Kogyo” and “Shinkawa Kogyo” merged in 1965.The 50 years that Aisin Seiki worked its way up in business are also 50 years of growth in the Aisin Group. The Aisin Group has grown into a comprehensive auto parts manufacturer with many specialized companies under a management philosophy of autonomy and independence that allows “each company to manage business in its field of expertise on its own.”
The 50-year history of the Aisin Group is also a history of challenges. Aisin’s spirit to “boldly stake challenges, always with a forward-looking attitude and without fear of failure” has produced numerous epoch-making products so far.
For example, our “automatic transmission” started in 1961 with the contract manufacturing of the “Toyoglide” during the era of Aichi Kogyo. It was then Aisin-Warner, now Aisin AW, that was established as a joint company in order to introduce technologies from Europe and the US, because we predicted ahead of others that automatic transmission-mounted vehicles would become the standard.
After that, we developed the world’s first FWD 8-speed automatic transmission in 2012 after multiple stages of transmission development that began with the self-developed 3-speed AT “03-55” and was followed by 4-speed, 5-speed, and 6-speed transmissions. Now, the Aisin Group has grown into the world’s largest automatic transmission maker and is doing business with many auto makers.
We look at the “intelligent parking assist” that we launched in 2003 as a precursor to automatic driving, as it has automated steering and semi-automated parallel and backward parking. It is the world’s first automated parking system.
Furthermore, when it comes to the “power sliding door,” which is now a symbol of the minivan, we commercialized a built-in door type driving unit in 2001 that contributed to a more spacious interior with comfortable and convenient features. Aisin’s “power sliding door” has a 100 % share of the light motor vehicle market in Japan. As a top manufacturer in the global market, we will continue to meet customer expectations in the future.
It is very important to “strengthen the competitiveness” of our current products in order for Aisin to continue to grow sustainably in the future. In the midst of a burgeoning industry that has resulted from mergers among leading suppliers and intensified competition over system development, we have been pushing forward with business restructuring including our manual transmission, brake, sheet and auto body parts business since the end of 2014, on the understanding that it is imperative for us to enhance our competitiveness as soon as possible to fight in the global market as a group.
At the same time, we are also establishing bases of operation for doing global business. In the past 3 years, we have accelerated the business development mainly in China, ASEAN and other emerging markets such as India and Brazil. Especially in China and ASEAN, we are strengthening our production and development systems in order to quickly capitalize on the market growth in these areas.
Aisin has worked hard to develop vehicles via technological innovation in the environmental and safety fields. However, I also think that we must push further in that direction in the future.
With the expected increase in the number of people who own cars on a world scale, environmental and safety problems will become extremely important factors. As solutions to such problems, Aisin believes that technological innovation will lead to the development of a sound society and eventually further motorization around the world.
Regarding our technological development efforts where Aisin is seeking “technological innovation,” I will now introduce two themes of technological development, “Environment and Fuel Efficiency” and “Security and Safety.”
First, I will introduce what we are doing in the “Environment and Fuel Efficiency” field.
As part of our efforts to improve fuel efficiency, Aisin is working on technologies and products intended to improve fuel efficiency of the entire vehicle by 30% by 2025. To achieve this goal, Aisin is promoting technological development in 5 areas. They are “heat management,” “motorization of the power train,” “improvement of transmission efficiency,” “reduction in air resistance,” and “weight reduction.”
By mastering these 5 development areas, we will develop technologies for “vehicle energy management” that not only manage energy, which is necessary across the flow of operations from vehicle starting to running and stopping, but also improve fuel efficiency.
Now, from these 5 technological development areas, I will introduce our efforts in “heat management.”
The Aisin Group’s technologies and products for hybrid vehicles such as hybrid transmissions, regenerative braking systems, and various types of electric pumps have been widely adopted for vehicles of many car makers, and are helping to reduce environmental load and improve fuel efficiency. As we pursue further improvements in fuel efficiency, “heat management” is important as an effective technology not only for hybrid vehicles but also for traditional gasoline-fueled vehicles.
In our present “heat management,” we “optimally allocate heat” mostly with products in the engine room, by controlling “water,” “oil” and “air” across the entire “power train,” which includes the transmission and accounts for a large amount of the heat generated in the engine, and in areas that cover body parts such as the “grill shutter.” However, there is no doubt that vehicles “low heat-generating engines,” such as electric vehicles, will increase in the future. While we have been collecting heat that is generated in the engine and using it, it will become necessary to “create and optimally allocate heat” across the entire vehicle in the future. The Aisin Group will develop such “heat management” products within the group and provide it as the most appropriate system.
As for the “Security and Safety” theme, we are working on technologies for a motorized society with zero traffic fatalities, under the keywords of “safety and security based on increased visibility and collision avoidance.” Aisin has developed and commercialized technologies that deliver “safety via increased visibility” and “security via collision avoidance,” by taking advantage of our strengths in elemental technologies such as image recognition, spatial recognition and vehicle control. At the ITS World Congress that was held in Bordeaux, France the other day, we demonstrated technologies that the Aisin Group is currently developing to contribute to automated driving and which utilize the group’s driver monitoring system, navigation system, parking assist system, etc.
Today, I will introduce two of those technologies.
First, I will introduce parking support technology that aims to “realize fully automated parking” and further improves the level of “intelligent parking assistance.” We are developing “remote control parking” technology that enables unattended automated parking from a smartphone. It not only helps drivers who are not good at driving but also enables drivers to park their car in a
narrow space where he or she finds it hard to get in or out of the car.
Next, I will introduce technology that safety maneuvers the car off the road in an emergency by applying our company’s “driver monitoring system.” An example would be when a driver loses consciousness while driving for some reason. This “driver monitoring system” monitors the driver’s condition by detecting his or her facial direction and the opening and closing of eyelids with a camera installed on the back of the steering wheel. If the driver loses consciousness, this function of the “driver monitoring system” judges whether the driver is unable to drive, automatically switches to an automated driving mode and steers the car safety to the side of the road. Since there is a possibility that the steering wheel may be jammed by the unconscious driver, it controls the car by automatically steering the rear wheels via the 4WS. I think that such automated driving technology will be effective as a means for preventing traffic accidents. Aisin will accelerate technological development for advanced driving support and challenge the realization of “technologies that contribute to automated driving.”
On the opportunities presented this year by the 50th anniversary since our establishment, the Aisin Group has come up with a “group logo” that expresses our aspirations for further development as a group. We have also put our aspirations “to be instrumental in society by building upon our actions with our desire to make every day better” into our group slogan, “For a Better Tomorrow.”
The Aisin Group will continue the “challenge” over the next 50 years and provide new values via the concerted efforts as a group.
I ask for your continued support and guidance. Thank you very much for your attention.