DETROIT -- Police officers use laser guns to collar speeders. Now the technology is being used more on passenger vehicles.
Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. says it will supply its first laser-based adaptive cruise control in North America when the unit is offered this year as an option on an undisclosed 2007 model.
Adaptive cruise control is an advanced form of cruise control that adjusts the speed of a vehicle to maintain a certain distance from the vehicle ahead. These collision-avoidance devices usually are based on radar.
But Hella says it can chop the cost of the unit by 50 percent by using laser rather than radar. The supplier did not disclose prices.
The laser adaptive cruise control would be installed in the vehicle at the assembly plant, not the dealership, says Ralf Voss, senior executive vice president of Hella's electronics division.
Laser has the same range and functionality of a typical radar system, but it will be more affordable, so these units will no longer be just for the luxury segment, Voss says.
Hella, of Lippstadt, Germany, is a global supplier of lighting and electronics for the auto industry. Its North American operations are in Plymouth, Mich.
Hella KGaA Hueck & Co. ranks No. 47 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $2.78 billion in 2004.
You may e-mail Ralph Kisiel at [email protected]