Panel discusses role of coatings in autonomous vehicles

| Manufacturing

The use of specialist coatings for maintaining cleanliness and surface properties for sensors in autonomous vehicle applications features at automotive event.

Specialists from surface coating and finishing specialist, PPG, participate in panel discussions covering autonomous and electric vehicle technologies during the 2018 Automobili-D exposition and conference at the Cobo Centre in Detroit, which is being held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

David Bem, PPG vice president of science and technology and chief technology officer, has a part in a discussion titled “Formation of the Autonomous Drive Industry”. He discusses the important functional roles of coatings that will be used on interior and exterior surfaces of autonomous vehicles. Joining Bem on the panel are Samit Ghosh, CEO and president of P3 North America; David Silver, head of self-driving car development for Udacity; and Geoffrey Wood, director of business development, North America, for Harman.

Gary Danowski, PPG vice president, Automotive OEM Coatings, is one of three industry experts participating in the “Electric Vehicle Technologies” panel discussion. Danowski highlights several emerging opportunities for new coatings technologies within the electric vehicle category. He is joined by Marcus Dold, CEO of, and Jörg Heuer, CEO of EcoG. The session is being moderated by Alysin Malek, co-founder and COO of May Mobility.

PPG has developed a broad portfolio of advanced coatings that play key roles in the development and deployment of autonomous and electric vehicles. These products include exterior coatings that enhance vehicle visibility to light detection and ranging (LIDAR) systems; easy-to-clean coatings that help prevent obstruction of autonomous vehicle sensors; and environmentally-sensitive cathode and anode coatings used to store and transfer energy within modern lithium ion batteries.

“PPG is playing an important role in pioneering functional paints and coatings technologies that will help enhance the performance, safety and sustainability of autonomous and electric vehicles,” said Bem. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the ever-growing role of coatings science in the mobility market.”

Added Danowski, “Automobili-D is an ideal forum for exploring opportunities to accelerate the development of powerful new mobility solutions, many of which will be enabled by current and future coatings technologies from PPG.”

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