Reliably detecting surroundings, recognizing obstacles and hazards in all weather conditions, and ensuring safety for all road users and pedestrians—the transition from traditional to autonomous vehicles presents automotive manufacturers and suppliers with entirely new challenges. Camera, radar and lidar technologies offer the technical possibilities for the autonomous driving future, but it is the positioning of this sensor technology that will make the results perfect. For Webasto, specialists in roof systems, the integration of sensor technology into the vehicle’s roof, the highest point of the vehicle, presents an opportunity to provide solutions for the future of autonomous mobility.
The Roof Sensor Module
Our elegant roof solution for automated and autonomous vehicles at a glance:
- Integration of sensors, such as cameras, lidars and radars
- Integration of ADS lights and antennas
- Combined with openable roof system
- Ideal sensor positioning
- Ensures sensor availability during sensor cleaning, cooling and deicing
- Roof system made of polycarbonate or glass
Depending on the customer's needs, we can combine the desired type and number of sensors in our RSM: Thus, we offer elegant solutions for automated (level 2) to fully autonomous driving (level 4). Openable roof systems, solar technology, ambient lighting or switchable glazing are examples of features we can add, thus impressively demonstrating our competence as a system integrator.
The story behind the "RSM" project
"We closely watched the trend toward autonomous driving and noticed that almost all vehicle prototypes are equipped with sensors built into the roof. It was immediately clear to us, in terms of appearance and functionality, that this is where Webasto is needed!" - Michael Hülsen, Director of Product Management, RSM
No sooner was it said that it was done, and with the realization of the Roof Sensor Module (RSM), Webasto played to its strengths. Webasto’s roof system optimizes safety, appearance, use of space and ease of maintenance.
What's more: the compact, pre-assembled and tested sensor module can ultimately be seamlessly integrated into automakers' production lines.
Reliable environment detection
Camera, radar and lidar technologies lay the foundation for safety and reliable 360° environment detection in autonomous driving. An accurate picture of the environment succeeds in the interaction of an optimal sensor set. Depending on requirements, the desired number of sensor types is combined and elegantly integrated into the Roof Sensor Module.
Optimal sensor availability
In order to guarantee the functionality of the sensor system across all weather conditions and contamination levels, various cleaning systems, using water and air, are integrated into the RSM, as well as functions for de-icing and fog removal. The intelligent thermal management also ensures optimum operating conditions.
Put through its paces
Like all of Webasto’s innovative solutions, the RSM with its integrated sensor system has to meet the highest quality standards. "We will leave nothing to chance here," assures Hülsen. In Webasto's 2,000-square-meter validation center in Stockdorf, Germany, roof systems and components undergo intensive testing to ensure the highest quality. To keep noise levels as low as possible when opening and closing a roof, an artificial test head, which simulates the noise perception of the vehicle’s occupants, tests noise emissions. If necessary, measurements are used to optimize noise behavior. In Webasto's rain and spray test chamber, roof systems must prove that they can protect a vehicle’s occupants from wetness even in the heaviest rain.
The strength and robustness of Webasto's roof systems are tested on road surfaces of a wide variety of conditions, from smooth asphalt to bumpy dirt roads. One of the test facilities is also equipped with a climate chamber so that variables such as temperature and humidity can be included in vibration tests.
The strength and robustness of Webasto's roof systems are tested on road surfaces of a wide variety of conditions, from smooth asphalt to bumpy dirt roads. One of the test facilities is also equipped with a climate chamber so that variables such as temperature and humidity can be included in the vibration tests.
Do you have more questions about our innovative roof systems for autonomous driving?
We will be happy to answer your questions. Write us a message and we will get in touch with you immediately.