Marelli Automotive Lighting, the lighting division of global automotive supplier Marelli, and Samvardhana Motherson Automotive Systems Group (SMRP BV), a manufacturer of interior and exterior components for the automotive industry, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore a new technological partnership focused on smart illuminated exterior body parts.
The partnership intends to focus on components such as front grills and bumpers, along with other car parts that can be illuminated. With increased adoption of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD), these components are expected to become a growing trend in the future of mobility.
Alongside the lighting systems, smart illuminated grills and bumpers are expected to host a number of different sensors aimed at ADAS and AD functions (such as LiDAR sensors, radar and cameras) along with communication functionalities which include displaying or projecting messages, thus making them also a tool for sensing and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communication. In terms of styling, illuminated parts have also a decorative function, as they can integrate customized, illuminated elements, which are being increasingly used in branding across vehicles, the companies suggest.
In the frame of the agreement, SMRP BV will contribute its expertise in the production of large, plastic automotive parts through its operating subsidiaries, while Marelli Automotive Lighting will bring its know-how in the field of automotive lighting and sensors integration to the collaboration, respectively. The collaboration will be aimed at OEMs globally and will focus on smart illuminated front grills and bumpers, as well as on illuminated rear ends, illuminated fenders and illuminated rocker panels.
Officials for both partners say they expect to further build on the companies’ pre-existing relationship, which began in 2008 through a joint venture to manufacture automotive lighting and related products, with four plants in India.