Canatu and Webasto win Plug and Play Global Innovation Award at Startup Autobahn EXPO2023


Canatu (Vantaa, Finland) and automotive supplier Webasto have been named the winners of Plug & Play Global Global Innovation Award at the Startup Autobahn EXPO2023 held on 22 June in Stuttgart, Germany. The Global Innovation Award recognises their joint pilot project on integrating a Canatu film heater into the Webasto Roof Sensor Module (RSM), to ensure reliable LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and camera sensor performance in harsh weather conditions.

“We are very excited to win the Plug & Play Global Innovation Award with Webasto. This honours the collaboration between Webasto and Canatu teams in integrating the Canatu film heater into the Webasto Roof Sensor Module. It is also a fantastic recognition for our LiDAR and camera heater unit, which enables superior optics, uniform heating, and low power consumption ensuring ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) sensors to operate in harsh weather conditions,” said Juha Kokkonen, CEO of Canatu.

The collaboration initiated in June 2021 with a focus on integrating a fixed Canatu film heater for ADAS deicing and anti-fogging into the Webasto Roof Sensor Module (RSM) to enable autonomous driving in harsh weather. It was imperative that the solution could be incorporated without any compromise to design integrity. The Canatu film heater fulfils these criteria, as it works with various sensors and can be seamlessly integrated into the RSM. Transparent and wire-free, the Canatu film heater provides fast, even, and power-efficient heating, without any optical distortion. By ensuring that ADAS sensors remain clear of snow, ice, and fog, the Canatu film heater enables safer autonomous driving in harsh weather.

“The cooperation has been open, fluent, and very collaborative. Together Canatu and Webasto will continue bringing the developed solution into further prototypes and vehicles with the ultimate goal of series production,” stated Magnus Sviberg, Director Special Products, Webasto Roof and Components SE.

STARTUP AUTOBAHN is Europe’s largest open innovation platform that connects tech startups with corporate business partners to work toward developing a production ready implementation. EXPO2023 was an invite-only event that attracted over 1500 guests who participated both in-person and virtually through live stream. The event brought together more than 35 tech startups presenting their collaboration results with over 30 corporate partners including Mercedes-Benz AG, Porsche AG, DXC Technology, Webasto Group, Schaeffler, Bosch, STMicroelectronics, Bridgestone Mobility solutions, NXP semiconductors and many more. The Global Innovation Award is presented to the best teams, based on collaboration, innovation, engineering, and functionality.

Caption: Global Innovation Award recipients Juha Kokkonen (Canatu) and Frank Schubert (Webasto) (photo: Canatu)

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