Marelli's new R&D centre in Turin to focus on lighting, body electronics, ADAS

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 14 Feb 2020

L-R: Heinrich-Gerhard Schuering, CEO of Marelli’s Electronics BU, and Sylvain Dubois, CEO of Marelli’s Automotive Lighting BU inaugurate the R&D centre in Turin

Marelli has opened a new facility in Turin which hosts the R&D centre of Marelli Automotive Lighting devoted to Lighting and Body Electronics (LBE), and an area devoted to Sensors development aimed at Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

By combining different capabilities in one location, the hub will be central to supporting Marelli Automotive Lighting activities across Lighting and Body Electronics, which are long-lasting core competences of the company. In addition, the focus on ADAS recognises the importance of this as a growth driver for Marelli in view of the evolution of mobility.

Spread across 3,000 square metres on 5 floors, the hub is located nearby the existing Marelli’s plant in Turin and houses more than 130 employees, including about 90 engineers and will enable synergies between different competences of Marelli professionals in electronics, lighting and software development.

The hub will be a critical competence centre in the field of Body Electronics, where Marelli has over 20 years’ experience developing body computer modules (BCM), gateways and onboard applications like door modules and trunk modules.

Another area of Marelli Automotive Lighting activity in the R&D hub will be devoted to the development of Electronic Control Units (ECU) for the management and control of lighting systems in the vehicle, that have become increasingly relevant in the last years following the evolution of lighting technologies.

The hub will also host an area fully dedicated to ADAS, focusing in particular on the development of sensors and cameras. The activities in this field will take advantage of Marelli’s capabilities in several fundamental areas of expertise, like Software Engineering, Functional Safety, Safety Of The Intended Functionality and Cybersecurity applications.

These will be also complemented by the competencies and technologies derived from the recent agreement with XenomatiX, to offer modular LiDAR system solutions based on ‘solid state’ technology, and from the previous acquisition of Smart Me Up, a French start-up specializing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) perception technology.

The activities of the centre will be also enabled by the presence of four laboratories, including a software validation laboratory equipped with five ‘Hardware In the Loop’ systems, able to emulate the use of software in a vehicle, meeting the validation specifications of different customers. Another laboratory is available for preliminary testing on software and hardware through simulators. The centre includes a testing laboratory with benches for software developed for end-of-line testing machines in customers’ production plants, and for software developed for In Circuit Tests. Another significant feature of the new facility is the laboratory featuring a darkroom for optical tests on LiDARs and cameras.