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Asahi Kasei Unveils Advanced Chip for Detecting Babies in Vehicles, Aims for Mass Production

The Asahi Kasei group's innovative AK5818 chip, offering enhanced detection capabilities, set to transform automotive safety systems
a 3407.TSE Mid and Small Cap 2000
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The Asahi Kasei group has made a significant breakthrough in automotive safety technology with the development of a new chip, the AK5818, designed to improve the detection of unattended babies in vehicles. This innovation, developed by Asahi Kasei Microdevices, is poised to enter mass production as early as October, aligning with tightening global regulations aimed at preventing accidental deaths.

The AK5818 utilizes millimeter waves to discern objects, a technology that notably excels in distinguishing between people and inanimate objects. This chip boasts a 75% increase in accuracy compared to existing products. A key feature of this technology is its ability to detect minute movements, such as a baby’s breathing, thanks to its advanced frequency control capabilities.

Set to be showcased at CES in Las Vegas, this chip represents Asahi Kasei’s ambition to make a strong impact on vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. The group’s collaboration with Canadian startup Pontosense, which provides expertise in detection methods, underscores the chip’s innovative approach.

The timing of this development is crucial as European auto safety ratings will soon include child detection sensors in their assessment criteria, and Japan is mandating safety equipment in child-transport buses. The global market for detection systems is projected to surge to $83.13 billion by 2030, a significant increase from its current valuation.

Asahi Kasei is aiming to capitalize on this growing demand for millimeter-wave detection technologies, with a goal to triple sales of related products by fiscal 2030. Facing stiff competition from established players like Germany’s Infineon Technologies and U.S. chipmaker Texas Instruments, Asahi Kasei is leveraging its sensing technologies to penetrate this market.

Additionally, the company envisions broader applications for the AK5818 chip, including in senior monitoring systems. This move not only enhances vehicle safety features but also positions Asahi Kasei at the forefront of innovative automotive technology solutions.

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