Marelli Automotive Lighting, the lighting division of leading global automotive supplier Marelli, and Samvardhana Motherson Automotive Systems Group (SMRP BV) have signed a MOU to explore new technological partnership focused on Smart illuminated exterior body parts. This intends to focus on components such as front grills and bumpers, along with other car parts that can be illuminated. These components are expected to become a growing trend in the future of mobility, with increased adoption of Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD) in the coming years.

In the frame of the agreement, SMRP BV will contribute its strong expertise in the production of big plastic automotive parts through its operating subsidiaries, while Marelli Automotive Lighting will bring its extensive 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.

Alongside the lighting systems, Smart illuminated grills and bumpers are expected to host a number of different sensors aimed at ADAS and Autonomous Driving functions (such as LiDARs, radars and cameras) along with and 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 also integrate customised illuminated elements, which are being increasingly used in branding across vehicles.

Marelli is one of the world’s leading global independent suppliers to the automotive sector. Marelli Automotive Lighting is the division of Marelli that develops solutions for external automotive lighting systems and sensors aimed at ADAS/AD, with advanced technologies and a leading position at key OEMs worldwide. SMRP BV is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of interior and exterior automotive components worldwide. The company through its operating subsidiaries, specialises in the development and manufacture of vision systems, and highly integrated polymer modules such as cockpits, door panels, front and rear bumper modules etc. for the automotive industry.

Both partners expect to further build also on an existing long-standing relationship, which was started in 2008 through a joint venture to manufacture automotive lighting and related products, with four plants in India.