The new collaboration between Canatu and TS TECH was announced

According to its press release, Finnish innovative company Canatu and Japanese automobile supplier TS TECH took new initiative:

TS TECH Co.,Ltd., is a global supplier of automobile and motorcycle seats and automotive interiors. Canatu is the leading developer and manufacturer of 3D formable and stretchable films, touch sensors and heating solutions. They have jointly developed a new demonstrator to showcase the broad capabilities of both companies’ technologies in in-vehicle applications. The new demonstrator is a decorative door trim with 3D touch switches to control the power seat adjustments, fusing design and usability.

Autonomous driving calls for progressive human-machine interfaces (HMIs) that allow the driver to lean back and maximize comfort while driving. Seats and door trims will rise in relevance when designing HMIs as they are always closest to the driver. In level 3 vehicles (conditional driving automation) and above, the driver would take a relaxed posture within a range. This is because he/she is always ready to take control if the system is unable to execute the task.

However, when the driver enters this position the car’s center display and instrument panel will be out of the occupant’s reach. Seats and door trims are ideal places for user interfaces as they allow a driver to effortlessly control the functions from the lean-back position.

Who is Canatu?

Based on the same press release, we can see the profile of Canatu as follows:

Canatu is a leading developer and manufacturer of transparent conductive films, touch sensors and heating elements . They are based on a new, carbon -based material the company has invented called Carbon NanoBud (CNBTM). CNB-based films, touch sensors and heaters are extremely stretchable and flexible, It means they can be formed to any 3D shape, offering increased design freedom and an enhanced user experience.

With transparent and conductive CNBTM films, the company can make virtually any smart, functional surface. The company can embed films and sensors into plastic, textile or leather to enable intuitive 3D shaped user interfaces and heaters. The patented film manufacturing process combines aerosol synthesis of CNBTM material and Roll-to-Roll deposition by Direct Dry Printing. With these innovative technologies, Canatu offers touch module vendors and OEM’s enhanced design freedom and an intuitive HMI. Canatu is headquartered in Finland, with sales locations in Europe, the US, Japan, Greater China and Taiwan.

Who is TS TECH?

Based on the same press release, We can see the profile of TS TECH in the following way:

TS TECH is a global supplier of interior systems with business operations in 14 countries that cover all stages of the creation of automobile and motorcycle seats and interior components, from development through production. Since its establishment in 1960, TS TECH has pursued not only safety but comfort, which comes in many forms. In order to continue to recommend safe, comfortable automobile interiors to its customers around the globe, moving forward, TS TECH will use the wealth of seating technology it has amassed over the years and work to create new forms of value that look to the future.

There are some key words in this initiative

We can find some key words in order to succeed in the automobile sector from this announcement.

First, Autonomous Driving. Companies in the automobile industry faces the challenges in the “CASE” era. “CASE” is acronym and describes Connectivity, Autonomous, Sharing/Subscription and Electrification, respectively. As we see the press release, human-machine interfaces will be the very base that leads to better customer experiences. If we feel good during autonomous driving, more people try the new technology.

Second, Interior Design. Several media and research agencies forecast that the number of Electric Vehicle sales is increasing. In fact, it is. When it comes to combustion engine vehicles, one of the differences is their engine. On the other hand, if we drive electric vehicles, engines will be gone and the critical difference becomes another one. It could be interior design. In the “CASE” era, automobiles could be our next living space. When we find a new home, what will affect our decision? Many of us could answer interior design. Therefore, it will be true for cars, too.

Third, Collaboration. In the “CASE” era, new players such as Google, Apple, Amazon and even Tesla, enter the market. Therefore, traditional original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) should improve and enhance their capabilities to compete with them. However, will OEMs be able to do by themselves? The answer would be “No”. As a result, collaboration will be more important in the “CASE” era.

In the other article, we can see the other collaboration between Geely and Baidu. They are both Chinese companies. China is the largest market in terms of the sales of both combustion engine and electric vehicles. Therefore, collaboration is not only important but also indispensable to compete in the automotive market.