KARIYA, Japan -- In the world of global auto suppliers, Toyota-affiliated brake maker Advics Co. is a relative newcomer.
Despite being the go-to brake company for the world's biggest auto manufacturer, Advics is less than 15 years old and only began running its first factory in its home country in 2010.
But car-stopping technology has come a long way from clunky, conventional drum brakes. Today, high-tech braking is an indispensable element in autonomous driving, hybrid energy regeneration and sophisticated auto-stop and auto-steer safety systems.
Toyota Motor Corp. sees braking as so critical to its next-generation vehicles, it has sent one of its highest-profile executives to run Advics. It marks the first time Toyota has installed a leader at the brake maker, though it routinely does so at other suppliers in its vast stable of affiliates.
Advics' new chief is Satoshi Ogiso, 54, a former Toyota global product planning guru and longtime development leader for its Prius family of hybrid vehicles. He took the wheel June 24.
Ogiso's mission: Shepherd Advics into the new era by in-tegrating old-school mechanical braking technology with the new high-tech digital controls that run everything from hybrid battery recharging and pre-crash emergency stopping to four-wheel-drive traction features and adaptive cruise control.
"I am very strong at complicated vehicle system development management," Ogiso said in a July 13 interview at Advics' global headquarters here just outside Nagoya. "Toyota wants Advics to make good proposals to expand these systems."