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Image selection determines artificial IQ

  • Machine learning provides standardized and reliable image evaluation
  • The choice of training data significantly influences detection results
  • In-house optics lab at HELLA Aglaia helps create custom solutions

Artificial intelligence (AI) has long been an integral part of everyday industrial life in many places, for example in the image processing of optical quality controls. The advantages of intelligent algorithms: they work quickly and are standardized and automated. As a specialist in computer-aided image processing, HELLA Aglaia has relied on machine learning algorithms for several years now, in addition to classic analytical methods. But what does it mean when a machine learns and evaluates images, and why is qualified human analysis the key to success after all?

Machine learning techniques use data and targets to approach the solution to a task such as detecting a crack in a product surface. In classical methods of image evaluation, the features on the basis of which a crack can be identified as such are specified. In contrast, machine learning algorithms are self-learning and acquire their detection capabilities by analyzing data sets provided in advance. The more extensive this training, the more accurate the detection results. However, success is highly dependent on the available image templates of the product to be inspected, as the quality of the training data is crucial for highly accurate and robust detection results.

Algorithms are only as good as their training data

The market now offers numerous standard AI solutions for image evaluation that promise rapid success. Pre-trained algorithms require only comparatively small amounts of data to specialize in the recognition of certain features. Nevertheless, there is a risk that features are used for detection that are not relevant at all.

An example: A machine learning algorithm is trained with photos of defective products to detect scratches in the surface. In a test application, however, the system now sounds an alarm every time a product is checked – are the surfaces really damaged? No. Instead, the algorithm did not take the product’s material into account. Instead of scratches, the algorithm learned to identify the light reflection of a metallic component as a recurring pattern.

Such training failures can have various causes, for example, an inadequate amount of training data, unsuitable recordings or poor image selection.

Optimal results with individual setup

To create an ideal image base, project work at HELLA Aglaia usually begins with a feasibility study. In the in-house optics laboratory, the use of various cameras and lighting scenarios is evaluated in order to best capture the products to be inspected and their characteristics. If the image setup for a project has already been specified, it can be recreated in the optics lab and an optimal solution for the existing problem can be developed.

Next, the detection results obtained from test images are subjected to detailed analysis. This not only ensures the correct detection of features relevant to the job, but also guarantees that they can be optimally recorded and classified. In this way, all projects benefit from a custom, high-precision AI solution. Furthermore, HELLA Aglaia advises on the camera-light setup in production, thus ensuring the reproducibility of the results.

On this basis, HELLA Aglaia supports cross-industry projects in the field of optical quality control to reliably detect anomalies or defects – in both individual components and finished products.

Further information

HELLA completes sale of activities in the front camera software business

  • Disposal is based on stringent portfolio management
  • Large investments in automated driving to continue unchanged

Lippstadt/Berlin. The global automotive supplier HELLA has successfully completed the sale (closing) of the front camera software business, which is based at the Berlin subsidiary HELLA Aglaia, including the associated testing and validation area. Following approval by the relevant antitrust authorities and the fulfilment of further contractual conditions, the business has been transferred to the Volkswagen Group’s Car.Software Organisation with effect from 1 February 2021. HELLA is generating around € 120 million in pre-tax income from the transaction.

HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach said on the occasion of the closing: “My special thanks go to all employees in the front camera software business for our journey together and their outstanding commitment over the years. We are pleased that we have now been able to successfully conclude the sale process and that, with the Car.Software Organisation, we have found what we consider to be an optimal company to further develop the activities.”

The sale of the front camera software business was based on stringent portfolio management. Accordingly, HELLA would have had to make extraordinarily large investments combined with a large entrepreneurial risk in order to achieve the internal targets in this area. Regardless of the transaction, HELLA will continue to invest intensively in key technologies for automated driving, especially in the areas of radar sensor technology and steering electronics. At the same time, the remaining activities at HELLA Aglaia in the areas of energy management, lighting control and people sensing will continue consistently and the subsidiary will be further strengthened by being responsible for HELLA’s Global Software House, which was founded last year.

Read the press release in the HELLA newsroom.

Tracking down anomalies: Deep learning in quality control

  • Intelligent image processing supports quality control in industrial companies
  • With individual feasibility studies for optimal project structure
  • HELLA Aglaia advises and accompanies with expert knowledge from two decades

A good three years ago, a HELLA annual report presented a deep-learning project in which AI-based image processing was used to set up efficient and precise quality control for laser welding spots. The project’s backbone: machine learning algorithms made by HELLA Aglaia. This year, the Institute of Plastics Processing at RWTH Aachen University became aware of the project report. An invitation to a symposium on digitalization in the industry followed. At the beginning of November, HELLA and HELLA Aglaia presented a joint insight into the reference project as part of the conference. An occasion for taking a closer look at the topic of automatic optical inspection (AOI).

From the road to production

For more than two decades, HELLA Aglaia has dedicated itself to computer-aided image evaluation and has made a name for itself, particularly in the automotive sector: High-precision detection algorithms evaluate images from the vehicle’s front camera, identify pedestrians, vehicles or traffic signs, among other things, and transmit information about them to the control system. The control system can trigger an appropriate reaction, for example, adapting the vehicle’s speed to a detected traffic sign.

The principle can be transferred to numerous other areas, including automatic optical inspection in production processes. At the end of a production process, the products are recorded by a camera. Next, algorithms examine the image material for previously learned defined features that can be used to detect anomalies in the surface, for example. The detection results are sent back to the end of the production process – in real time. As part of a quality control process, defective products can be automatically sorted out or designated for rework.

Deep learning as a key to success

The implementation of this inspection is made possible, among other things, by the application of deep learning algorithms, a sub-area of machine learning. In contrast to classical optical inspection systems, features do not have to be firmly defined by the software engineer, but instead are created independently on the basis of patterns contained in large amounts of sample data. This is made possible by neural networks, a form of self-learning algorithms. The more comprehensively the neural networks are trained to the relevant properties of a pattern, the more precise the detection results will be. Quality control thus benefits from the reliable, consistent classification of the examined objects.

Consulting and implementation from one source

Whether and how a project can be supported by means of deep learning is examined in advance by the specialists at HELLA Aglaia with extensive feasibility studies. If the imaging procedure has not been specified yet, various camera and illumination scenarios are tested in the in-house optics laboratory in order to find the optimal imaging setup for solving the respective task.

How an image template is generated is ultimately irrelevant for the algorithms. A thermal imaging camera was used for the reference project of laser welding spots; other projects work with classic RGB cameras or X-ray images, depending on the material to be examined and the objective of the test. Our team will be happy to assist you with any questions or requests for advice. For more information on automatic optical inspection, please visit our AI Solutions product page.

Interview: Kay Talmi talks artificial intelligence, image processing and technology profitably

The use of artificial intelligence in conjunction with driver assistance systems is now becoming increasingly common. Another exciting use for AI is in “People Sensing”: when people are entering shops or buses/trains, a camera can use image processing to detect them entering. The advantage? Businesses, for instance, can keep track of how many people are in their shop and can stop people entering if required. This is a particularly indispensable technology, especially in the age of Corona. The Berlin company HELLA Aglaia manufactures high-precision people-counting devices in this field. Its portfolio also includes driver assistance systems and other exciting AI solutions. The online platform #AI_Berlin spoke to its Managing Director – and native Berliner – Kay Talmi.

Read the full interview on the #AI_Berlin website.
Artificial intelligence at HELLA Aglaia? Learn more!

HELLA strengthens software competencies by founding new Global Software House

  • Automotive supplier employs around 2,000 software experts worldwide
  • The new organisational unit will align software activities across the company and develop digital business models

Lippstadt/Berlin. The international automotive supplier HELLA is further expanding its global software competencies with a new Global Software House. The Global Software House is managed by the Berlin subsidiary and software specialist HELLA Aglaia. It shall take global responsibility for coordinating software activities across the company and develop new, digitalised business models. HELLA currently employs around 2,000 software experts worldwide, particularly in the field of embedded software, for example in functional development for radar sensors, battery and steering electronics and lighting control.

“The future of the automobile is largely decided by software developers. By 2030, the market for software and electronics in vehicles will almost double,” says HELLA CEO Dr. Rolf Breidenbach. “This does not even take into account the diverse, far-reaching applications of digitalisation and software in production and administration. This presents HELLA with great opportunities, but also new challenges.”

Read the full press release in the HELLA newsroom.

HELLA Aglaia to launch new Corporate Website on April 15, 2020

With the upcoming relaunch, HELLA Aglaia aims to provide its website visitors with a clearly structured, entertaining and easy-to-use online information and contact platform.

“It’s not just about rejuvenating our online presence toward a more modern and user-friendly experience but also about placing a clear focus on our brand claim Driving Software Innovation,” explains Antje Geyer, Head of Marketing & Communications. “We strive for more safety and comfort in mobility. With the joint expertise of a powerful team and the development of reliable solutions, we deliver a strong brand promise to our partners, customers and all interested parties who want to shape future mobility with us”.

Optimized user guidance and company insights

The new website was designed with the user in mind. With the easy-to-use and intuitive navigation, it will take just a few clicks to reach the desired destination. The main navigation focuses on what HELLA Aglaia is all about: innovative software solutions and products and a clear mission statement. Soon, a tidy page design will increase usability, as will the responsive web design to help ensure optimal presentation on all devices. Target-group-specific content and points of contact create added value. The website relaunch will also include a new corporate imagery, animations and videos, which will give customers, partners, interested parties and applicants an authentic insight into the corporate environment, and help position HELLA Aglaia as an attractive employer.

Creating a proficient and informative brand experience

“Areas of rapidly growing importance, safety, driving comfort and information networking heavily rely on software. HELLA Aglaia has recognized these important growth factors early on and has been aligning its activities in the field of series-proven software development and integration accordingly for more than 20 years,” says Antje Geyer. “With the new website, we want to provide both an informative and entertaining experience of the HELLA Aglaia brand and establish the online presence as a central, digital interaction medium. The new website is to reflect what we do, why we do it and who we are”.

Autonomous navigation thanks to high-precision environment perception by HELLA Aglaia

  • Berlin research project examines dynamic road maps for automated and connected driving
  • HELLA Aglaia as project partner for sensor technology and environment perception
  • Requirements for real-time map updates established

Berlin, Germany. Precise digital maps are one of the basic requirements for safe automated and connected driving. Over the past two and a half years, the SAFARI project, which is managed by the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, has examined the exchange and update of digital road maps by autonomous vehicles. As a research partner, HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH was responsible not only for requirements analysis and system design, but also for environment perception. At the closing event on December 10, the SAFARI project partners jointly presented their results at the test bed in the Berlin district of Reinickendorf.

From the point of view of autonomous vehicles, driving situations on motorways or country roads are usually clearly structured. The situation is quite different in urban areas: roadworks, closures of individual lanes, parking offenders or pedestrians on the road make navigation much more complex. The more up-to-date the navigation information for autonomous vehicles, the more likely it is that dangerous situations can be mitigated.

Detection of the vehicle environment with the front camera

A specialist for visual sensor systems, HELLA Aglaia developed a camera-based environment detection system as part of SAFARI. The aim of the work package was not only the self-localisation of the vehicle, but also the perception and classification of its surroundings so that this information can be fed into a dynamic road map to be used by other road users as well. If vehicles are travelling autonomously, the comparison of information from map material and imaging sensors provides the basis for navigation. As in series-proven driver assistance systems, complex algorithms first evaluate the images from the front camera and detect, for example, vehicles, people, traffic lights or road markings. In addition to this information, which is relevant for driving manoeuvres, the own GPS-determined position within the map is defined in more detail by the recognition of local orientation points such as manhole covers or known road signs.

Development of free space detection in urban traffic

In addition, HELLA Aglaia developed a free space detection module for SAFARI that detects the navigable areas around the vehicle and thus allows to draw conclusions about available parking spaces, parking offenders or road works. The collected information on localisation and vehicle environment was transmitted to the map administration in real time via a wireless interface. For the functional test, HELLA Aglaia specially equipped a test vehicle with camera technology ready for series production. Around 16 kilometres of main and secondary roads were available on the Digital Testbed Urban Traffic in the north of Berlin. As part of a continuation of the project, it is planned to prepare the acquired data in a process-oriented way. Summarised statistical findings could, for example, provide information in urban management about the parking spaces required or critical traffic junctions.


The SAFARI project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) within the framework of the funding guidelines “Automated and connected driving on digital test beds in Germany”. Further information on the project and the companies involved is available online at www.testfeld-berlin.de.

TomTom collaborates with HELLA Aglaia for real-time HD map updating

IAA Frankfurt, Germany. TomTom (TOM2), the location technology specialist, and HELLA Aglaia, a global supplier of computer vision software to the automotive industry, today announced a collaboration to move towards updating the TomTom High Definition (HD Map) in real time using crowdsourced camera data from vehicles. TomTom’s HD Map is a critical component for safe and comfortable autonomous driving.

As part of the collaboration, HELLA Aglaia will use AutoStream – TomTom’s innovative map delivery system – to access the latest TomTom HD Map on demand and will use the HD Map in the vehicle for accurate localization. In addition, HELLA Aglaia will share processed camera data to TomTom’s cloud-based mapping system for autonomous driving, updating the TomTom HD Map in real time. This will be achieved by generating crowdsourced map updates called Roadagrams which are used to ensure the HD Map reflects the reality of the road. TomTom AutoStream then delivers the updated map data back to the vehicle. The technology will be demonstrated to automakers and Tier 1s by the end of the year.

Willem Strijbosch, Head of Autonomous Driving, TomTom, said: “We believe that an up-to-date HD map is critical for safe and comfortable autonomous driving. By joining forces with HELLA Aglaia we are offering automakers and Tier 1s the possibility to move towards faster TomTom HD Map updates. We’re proud to be working with them to serve their European and global customers.”

Kay Talmi, Managing Director at HELLA Aglaia, added: “By achieving compatibility between TomTom’s cloud-based mapping service and Aglaia’s in-vehicle camera software we will be able to offer automakers a new option for HD Map updates from their fleet while keeping the flexibility of our software-only-solution which easily scales from ADAS to automated driving.”

Visitors to IAA Frankfurt can meet TomTom in Hall 8, booth C39.

About TomTom

TomTom is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and services. To achieve our vision of a safer world, free of congestion and emissions, we create innovative technologies that keep the world moving. By combining our extensive experience with leading business and technology partners, we power connected vehicles, smart mobility and, ultimately, autonomous driving. Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 30 countries, TomTom’s technologies are trusted by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.


About HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH

HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH is a full subsidiary of HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA and is one of the leading global developers of intelligent visual sensor systems. The result of many years of experience, our expertise in mono- and stereo-camera systems, image processing and software programming makes possible the development of innovative industrial solutions and highly effective products for driver-assistance systems, electromobility and people counting. Many of our products set international standards and open completely new application possibilities and future opportunities.


Renesas Electronics wins Tech.AD Special Jury Award 2018 with R-Car V3M-based front camera solution

Düsseldorf, Germany. Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE:6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, today announced that it was awarded the Tech.AD Special Jury Award 2018 with its R-Car V3M-based front camera solution for advanced driver assistant systems (ADAS) and automated driving (AD). The solution based on Renesas hardware and HELLA Aglaia software is part of Renesas’ open, innovative and trusted Renesas autonomy™ Platform delivering end-to-end automotive solutions from secure cloud connectivity and sensing to vehicle control.

The award ceremony was held during Automotive Tech.AD Berlin on March 5 at TITANIC Chaussee in Berlin, Germany. Presented by we.CONECT, a leading business information company, the prestigious Tech.AD Award exclusively recognizes, celebrates, and honors exceptional projects for automotive safety, ADAS and AD. The Jury consisted of Dr. Brendan Chan, Navistar, Dr. Florian Baumgärtner, Daimler and David Sanchez, Jaguar Landrover.

Read the full press release in the Renesas press center.

HELLA launches new business model for camera-based driver assistance systems

  • Software modules are already realizing key safety functions: lighting control as well as lane/traffic sign/pedestrian and object recognition
  • Flexible system updates with new autonomous driving functions also possible
  • Rollout projected for 2019

Lippstadt/Berlin, Germany.With its new business model for front camera software, lighting and electronics expert HELLA is further driving the trend toward autonomous driving. The Berlin-based subsidiary HELLA Aglaia is rolling out an open platform for camera-based driver assistance systems. This provides customers with the possibility of updating hardware components and series-proven software functions, such as lighting control, lane/traffic sign/pedestrian and object recognition, according to individual preferences and needs. This for example comprises also later upgrades for automated driving functions. The market launch of the new software system is anticipated for 2019.

“We have developed a completely new business model allowing us to distinguish ourselves on the market over existing offerings. Those are currently often available only as closed systems that cannot be modified at a later stage”, says Kay Talmi, Managing Director of HELLA Aglaia. “Our logic of separating hardware and software constitutes the implementation of a modular system providing our customers with high dynamics and flexibility while strengthening our position along the market trend of autonomous driving.”

The software system developed by HELLA Aglaia is not bound to a specific hardware but can be flexibly used for the platforms of various manufacturers. Customers can furthermore combine different software components freely with other components by HELLA or third-party providers while integrating newly available functions via software updates. “As a customer of a closed system with already fully-integrated functions, you always have to buy the entire software package. If later on, you’re looking for an updatethat wasn’t contained previously, e.g. a new traffic sign or a completely new function, you have no choice but to wait for a new product generation”, says Talmi. “By offering an open software system, we do allow for such flexible, individual upgrades. Since this also comprises functions for automated driving based on highly complex deep learning methods, our software system can be applied across all development stages, including the autonomous driving stage.”

HELLA Aglaia is among the world’s leading developers of intelligent visual sensor systems. The Berlin-based subsidiary specialized in image processing and software solutions has recently expanded its headquarters and moved into a new office building in the renowned Campus Ullsteinhaus. HELLA Aglaia currently employs about 300 persons. This number is projected to increase over time to up to 500.

Renesas Electronics and HELLA Aglaia open up the front camera market with open, scalable ADAS solution

  • Renesas’ High-Performance R-Car V3M SoC and HELLA Aglaia’s Open Application Software Enable Product Differentiation and Provide Faster Time-to-Market
  • Delivers Scalability Covering from Low-Cost NCAP- to SAE Level 3-Based Applications

Tokyo, Japan and Berlin, Germany. Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723), a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, and HELLA Aglaia, one of the leading global developers of intelligent visual sensor systems, today announced their open and scalable front camera solution for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving. The new front camera solution combines the R-Car V3M, Renesas’ high-performance, low-power image recognition system-on-chip (SoC) for New Car Assessment Program (NCAP, Note 1), and HELLA Aglaia’s field-proven camera software designed to meet level 2 (partial automation) and level 3 (conditional automation) of the SAE International’s new J3016 standard (Note 2). Designed for scalability, the solution enables system designers to build a wide range of front cameras from cameras supporting NCAP to cameras supporting requirements for up to level 3 applications.

This collaboration opens up the market for front cameras as sensor vision is projected to become a major requirement for NCAP over the next several years. “The front camera market is expected to exceed 200 million pieces over the next five years,” said Ian Riches, Director Autonomous Vehicles Service at Strategy Analytics. This is driven by the rapid adoption of NCAP safety features such as automated emergency braking, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition. OEMs & Tier 1s are seeking open-but-proven solutions with the right performance and cost efficiency balance to provide them the freedom to implement a front camera with their own differentiators.

“The market opportunity for front camera applications has grown rapidly, and customers are desperately seeking an open and proven solution. To realize a superior strategic alignment, we decided to combine the field-proven camera software from HELLA Aglaia with the Renesas autonomy Platform™,” said Jean-Francois Chouteau, Vice President, Global ADAS Centre, Renesas Electronics Corporation. “The new solution enables customers to realize their own unique selling points (USPs) for their applications with reduced risk and faster time-to-market.”

“With the Renesas autonomy Platform™ for ADAS and automated driving, Renesas provides an open, scalable platform that matches our open and verified software to deliver a solution that enables OEM and Tier 1 to develop low- to high-end applications while giving them the opportunity to add their own software for extra value,” said Kay Talmi, Managing Director, HELLA Aglaia. “Optimized for low-cost front cameras, the R-Car V3M is the perfect match for our application software to realize NCAP applications.”

The Renesas R-Car V3M SoC implements an innovative, power-efficient computer vision platform using different accelerators, including a versatile pipeline engine (IMP) and a computer vision engine (CVE), allowing the R-Car V3M to run convolutional neural networks for the classification of objects and to manage algorithms like optical flow and object detection. The R-Car V3M also features an integrated ISP and a single DDR3L memory channel offering potential for further cost reductions. The R-Car V3M is part of the Renesas autonomy Platform: Renesas’ ground-breaking platform for ADAS and automated driving that delivers total end-to-end solutions scaling from cloud to sensing and vehicle control.

HELLA Aglaia’s software solutions will shorten the development time, efforts, and risk for the next wave of front camera customers. As an experienced Tier 2 supplier of field-proven camera software for level 2 and level 3, HELLA Aglaia delivers software that is flexible and portable and that can be combined with Tier 1 or OEM software IP, allowing customers to focus on creating their USPs. The software is scalable and covers from low-cost NCAP applications up to level 3-based front camera applications.


The Renesas R-Car V3M is available now. The application software delivered by HELLA Aglaia is scheduled to be available in Q1 2018. Click here for the promotion video.


  1. NCAP (New Car Assessment Program): A government car safety program tasked with evaluating new automobile designs for performance against various safety threats.
  2. SAE International’s new standard J3016: Taxonomy and Definitions for Terms Related to On-Road Motor Vehicle Automated Driving Systems, delivers a harmonized classification system and supporting definitions that identify six levels of driving automation from “no automation” to “full automation”.

About HELLA Aglaia

HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH is a full subsidiary of HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA and is one of the leading global developers of intelligent visual sensor systems. The result of many years of experience, our expertise in mono- and stereo-camera systems, image processing and software programming makes possible the development of innovative industrial solutions and highly effective products for driver-assistance systems, electromobility and people counting. Many of our products set international standards and open completely new application possibilities and future opportunities.

About Renesas Electronics Corporation

Renesas Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723) delivers trusted embedded design innovation with complete semiconductor solutions that enable billions of connected, intelligent devices to enhance the way people work and live—securely and safely. A global leader in microcontrollers, analog, power, and SoC products and integrated platforms, Renesas provides the expertise, quality, and comprehensive solutions for a broad range of Automotive, Industrial, Home Electronics, Office Automation and Information Communication Technology applications to help shape a limitless future. Learn more at renesas.com.

Renesas autonomy is a trademark of Renesas Electronics Corporation. All names of products or services mentioned in this press release are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Deep Berlin Conference 2017: A new community for innovators in Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning

Berlin, Germany. On October 24, more than 200 participants from the Science sector, entrepreneurs, students, and start-ups gathered in Berlin’s Spreewerkstätten for the first Deep Berlin Conference to showcase and discuss the latest trends, innovations and challenges in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning. The interactive conference format combining expert presentations and project showcases was initiated by local technology provider HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH, a leading developer of intelligent image processing systems for driver assistance systems, people counter, and electromobility, as well as its partners, among them chip manufacturer Nvidia, Berlin Partner, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as well as Data Science Retreat, and Intrepid Delta, who specialize in professional training programs and tech event organization respectively.

Designed to represent the variety of advancements in Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning in the German capital as well as the stakeholders involved, the event aims to build a sustainable community for regular exchange and interaction. Benefiting from both an established IT community and a lively start-up scene, Berlin has already assumed a leading role in the field of Artificial Intelligence: “More than 50 Berlin companies center their work around AI products, just as well as our dedicated development team which has been engaged in the application of neural networks for several years”, explains Kay Talmi, Managing Director at HELLA Aglaia. “This is why we would like to act as an interface and provide a platform especially for young entrepreneurs.”

Deep Learning through neural networks, a part of machine learning, is currently the most promising approach in furthering Artificial Intelligence. Based on deep learning algorithms, machines learn to recognize and understand our world, how to navigate it and make decisions. The deep learning concept is based on deep neural networks (DNNs) which are made up of a structure of simple adaptive units (neurons) and capable to learn and execute highly complex tasks, such as autonomous driving.

In addition to the application in the automotive industry, the more than a dozen speakers presented milestones and prospective use cases from medicine to robotics with an emphasis on training neural networks in the recognition and interpretation of images and acoustic signals. The young entrepreneurs took to the stage during the start-up marketplace to showcase intelligent solutions from a wide range of applications, such as computer-aided vision, object recognition, and process automation.

The conference partners were more than satisfied with the comprehensive insight into Berlin’s innovation landscape, which receives decisive support from Berlin Partner: “Berlin offers start-ups what they are looking for: An international community, IT talents, entrepreneurial spirit, and an excellent scientific environment”, says Dr. Stefan Franzke, Managing Partner at Berlin Partner. “By initiating the Deep Berlin Conference, we hope to further establish Artificial Intelligence as part of Berlin’s economic landscape.”

More information on the Deep Berlin Conference, the event partners, and the participating start-ups is available online at www.deep-berlin.ai.

HELLA further expands software location in Berlin

  • Subsidiary company HELLA Aglaia moves into new Tempelhof headquarters
  • Number of employees anticipated to reach up to 500 over time
  • Trend to autonomous driving spurs further development

Lippstadt/Berlin, Germany. The HELLA KGaA Hueck & Co., one of the global leaders for lighting and electronics, is further developing its subsidiary company HELLA Aglaia in Berlin, specialized in image processing and software solutions. Against this backdrop, the company has moved into its new headquarters in the Berlin Tempelhof district. Employee numbers are projected to reach up to 500 over time.

“HELLA is benefiting from automotive trends, such as autonomous driving and digitalization. For successfully serving these trends, software expertise is increasingly becoming a key competence for us”, says Dr. Rolf Breidenbach, HELLA CEO. “We are therefore further developing our software development resources. Our Berlin subsidiary company HELLA Aglaia is of great importance here as competence center for intelligent visual sensor systems and artificial intelligence.”

“We’re currently hiring up to seven new colleagues every month”, adds Kay Talmi,  Managing Director of HELLA Aglaia. “Our new location inside the renowned Ullsteinhaus in Berlin Tempelhof will surely further spurn our development. After all, we’re now situated in one of Berlin’s digital hubs, surrounded by startups and excellent universities.”

With some 300 employees, HELLA Aglaia is among the world’s leading providers of intelligent visual sensor systems today. Aglaia was founded in Berlin in 1998 and became a full HELLA subsidiary in the year 2006. Over many years, the company has acquired unique expertise in the area of camera-based assistance systems – with a clear focus on software. The most recent milestone: an open software system for front cameras. HELLA Aglaia has thus succeeded in introducing a new business model on the market, allowing customers flexibly combining various hardware components and software functions, such as lighting control, lane/traffic sign/pedestrian and object recognition, according to individual needs. This enables HELLA to effectively contribute to the transition from assisted to autonomous driving.

Read the full HELLA press release

iF DESIGN AWARD 2017: HELLA Aglaia Wins Gold Award

Berlin/Munich, Germany. This year, a distinguished international iF panel awarded the iF DESIGN AWARD to some of the 5,575 entries. A total of 1,137 entries won over the jury and received the iF label as a sign for exceptional design.

Only 75 of the award-winning projects were short-listed by the international panel of experts and honored with the IF Gold Award on March 10, 2017 at BMW Welt in Munich. Among them was the automatic counting senor APS-90 from the Berlin-based technology company HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH.

The panel justified its decision as follows: “Monitoring individuals in public spaces is a delicate issue. The People Counter APS-90 wins over not only with its technological inner workings, but also and all the more so because of the manner in which it isperceived externally. The humanoid character of the product boosts its acceptance with the user because the user can look the observer straight in the eyes.”

For more than 15 years, the name HELLA Aglaia has stood for the highest level of precision, the best in quality, maximum service, innovative strength and tailored solutions. In the area of people sensing, there are currently around 40 employees working on sustainable solutions for public passenger transportation, retail and security. It is not only the functionality, but also the aesthetics of the product which is factoring more and more into the decision to buy. With this in mind, the people sensing team together with the Berlin-based design agency Emamidesign developed a new measuring device which, with clear lines and high qualitymaterials, blends aesthetics with functionality.

“The new design exudes elegance and harmony while being both discreet and distinctive. We are very pleased about this special award and thank Emamidesign in particular for the extremely inspiring cooperation,” comments Matthias Nerling, Director People Sensing at HELLA Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH, after the award ceremony.

For over 60 years, the iF DESIGN AWARD has been a recognized international trademark when it comes to outstanding design. The iF brand is established around the globe as a symbol for exceptional design achievements. The iF DESIGN AWARD is awarded by iF International Forum Design GmbH, Hanover.

More information on the APS-90 people counter is available on the People Sensing website.

Automated driving: Steering without limits

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to park their vehicles frequently, such as delivery services and mobile care providers, lose a lot of working time searching for and then getting into parking spaces. New chassis types with wheels that can be steered individually and electric drives make it possible to increase maneuverability and therefore efficiency, particularly in flowing urban traffic. The OmniSteer project, which is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is aimed at researching suitable concepts and prototypes by 2018 and has a budget of € 3.4 million.

“The increasing electrification and automation of vehicles makes it possible to offer users innovative driving functions”, explain project managers Dr. Marcel Mayer from Schaeffler and Dr. Michael Frey from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). “The added value offered by electric drives compared to internal combustion en-gines is significant, because we can directly integrate electric drives into each wheel”.

Together with innovative wheel suspension types that allow a wider range of steer-ing motion on the front and rear axle, suitable distance and lane guidance systems (highly-integrated lateral and transverse guidance systems) are also being devel-oped that will significantly increase maneuverability. “It is possible to switch seam-lessly between front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel steering depending on the situation”, says Mayer, who is in charge of Schaeffler’s “Automated Driving” work group and is carrying out research at the KIT as part of the SHARE (Schaeffler Hub for Automotive Research in E-Mobility) research collaboration. Driving maneuvers in restricted spaces – such as turning corners and changing lanes in a traffic jam or when approaching road works – will become more efficient with OmniSteer in terms of both time and energy, and this will improve the way in which lanes are utilized. Delivery services will also enjoy an enormous benefit, since it will even be possible to continuously pull into parking spaces at a right angle to the direction of the traffic, which in turn will make it possible for even the smallest parking spaces to be used and more rapidly allow traffic to continue moving. “These driving functions therefore directly increase safety, comfort, and energy efficiency as well as also improving the utilization of space and the flow of traffic in cities in the long term”, explains Dr. Frey from the KIT’s institute of vehicle systems engineering.

As part of the OmniSteer project, a scaled-down demonstration vehicle with a lateral and transverse guidance system capable of performing orthogonal, multi-directional, and non-linear driving and steering maneuvers is being developed. These three features allow innovative driving functions and thus make it possible to utilize the full potential of automation in electrically-driven vehicles. The vehicle will use sensors to identify its surroundings, calculate the best possible path of travel, and then independently perform complex maneuvers. A specially-developed display and operating unit will allow the driver to select and keep track of the driving functions and to intervene if necessary. The FZI Research Center for Information Technology is contributing maneuver and trajectory planning processes to the project, which select the best possible chassis configuration based on the situation.

The OmniSteer project is set to last three years. The “Omni” prefix (from the Latin word for “all” or “whole”) firstly represents the holistic approach to steering. Additionally, however, it is also an acronym for Orthogonal (maneuvering at a right angle to the original direction of travel), Multi-directional (different travel paths are possible), and Non-linear (the position of the steering wheel is decoupled from the steering angle). The project partners are Schaeffler, PARAVAN, and HELLA, as well as researchers from the KIT and its Information Technology Research Center. The collaborative project is also receiving support from associated partners: DEKRA, Custom Interactions, and Cluster Electric Mobility South-West (ESW), which is coordinated by e-mobil BW, the innovation agency for the state of Baden-Württemberg. Around € 1.9 million of the € 3.4 million overall budget is being provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of its “e-MOBILIZE – Intelligent and Efficient Electric Mobility for the Future” program.

Project partners

Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH is an innovation-driven company with worldwide operations. A subsidiary of Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., we are an internationally leading developer of intelligent image-processing systems and sensors. We are expert developers of production-ready driver-assistance systems, automated-driving technology and electromobility. With knowledge gained from years of experience, we strive for long-term market success.

The Schaeffler Group is a leading global integrated automotive and industrial supplier. The company stands for the highest quality, outstanding technology, and strong innovative ability. The Schaeffler Group makes a key contribution to “Mobility for tomorrow” with high-precision components and systems in engine, transmission, and chassis applications as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a large number of industrial applications. The technology company generated sales of approximately EUR 12.1 billion in 2014. With around 84,000 employees, Schaeffler is one of the world’s largest family companies and, with approximately 170 locations in 50 countries, has a worldwide network of manufacturing locations, research and development facilities, and sales companies.

Paravan GmbH is the world leader in innovative automobile conversions for drivers with severe disabilities. Since 1998, Paravan founder Roland Arnold has developed new and innovative products in the area of handicapped mobility. Approximately 150 employees individually develop and produce custom adaptive driving products. These include automobile conversions, power wheelchairs, exercise training machines, seating solutions, ramp systems, wheelchair loading systems and hand devices.  Paravan’s drive-by-wire system  is road certified according to ISO 262 ASIL D and is assembled with a world class quality level IPC-A-600 Class C standard. Worldwide, Paravan has accumulated over 120 million kilometers of experience during the past 10 years which supports new technology for the ongoing improvement of Space Drive II. Using an active redundancy steering and gas/brake system with multiple relevant safety backups, Space Drive is now being used in vehicles world-wide. This modern technology is the cornerstone for the future of autonomous driving.

The FZI Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is a non-profit institution for applied research in information technology and technology transfer. Its task is to provide businesses and public institutions with the latest research findings in information technology. It also qualifies young scientists for their career in academics or business as well as self-employment. Led by professors from different faculties, research teams at the FZI interdisciplinarily develop and prototype concepts, software, hardware and system solutions for their clients.The FZI House of Living Labs is a unique research environment for applied research. All areas of the FZI are certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001:2008. The head office of the FZI is located in Karlsruhe, Germany. A branch of the FZI is located in Berlin.

Associate partners

DEKRA has been active in the field of safety for 90 years. Founded in 1925 in Berlin as Deutscher Kraftfahrzeug-Überwachungs-Verein e.V., it is today one of the world’s leading expert organizations. DEKRA SE is a subsidiary of DEKRA e.V. and manages the Group’s operating business. In 2015, DEKRA will generate sales totalling approximately 2.7 billion Euros. The company currently employs more than 37,000 people in more than 50 countries on all five continents. With qualified and independent expert services, they work for safety on the road, at work and at home. These services range from vehicle inspection and expert appraisals to claims services, industrial and building inspections, safety consultancy, testing and certification of products and systems, as well as training courses and temporary work. The vision for the company’s 100th birthday in 2025 is that DEKRA will be the global partner for a safe world.

The vision of the usability and user experience company Custom Interactions is to simplify the interaction between man and technology as much as possible. With its interdisciplinary team of psychologists, user interface designers, engineers and software specialists Custom Interactions develops and improves user interfaces of all kinds, with a special focus on automotive user interfaces. In the centre of all development activities stands the user with his needs, goals and desires. Therefore, the experts of Custom Interactions use a wide variety of usability and user experience methods (e.g. user surveys, expert reviews, field observations, and usability and user experience tests) to identify the information needed for a successful human centred development process.

Leading Edge Cluster Electric Mobility South-West. Schaeffler and KIT are partners in the Electric Mobility Cluster of Excellence Southwest (ESW), which connects over 100 stakeholders from science and economics in the region Karlsruhe – Mannheim – Stuttgart – Ulm. The cluster strategy of the ESW cluster aims to achieve intensive regional collaboration in the field of electric mobility by means of new approaches and forms of cooperation. As a result, knowledge is developed, consolidated and ultimately advantages are achieved in international competition.