South Coast Firm Brings New Hi-Tech to Luxury Cars

A Goleta-based company’s infra-red system, which specializes in spotting animals in the dark, soon will be featured in some of the world’s most popular luxury cars.

Autoliv has been making auto safety devices for some 60 years, including seatbelts and airbags. The $8.3 billion company employs 41 workers in Goleta where the camera for the new system is manufactured in a Fairview Avenue facility. Worldwide, Autoliv employs some 51,000 workers.

The system, which borrows the infra-red device made by another South Coast firm, FLIR, includes a grill-mounted camera in some Audis, Mercedes and BMWs.

Years of research have gone into the new system, which detects the movements of particular animals such as deer. Car collisions with deer cost an annual $3.5 billion, said Autoliv Managing Director Stuart Klapper.

He said since 2007 research has been conducted on safaris and deer farms to develop the system, which includes a moving spot light that tracks animal movements. A strobe light also is incorporated in the system because deer with stop in their tracks is a beam is shone directly at them, Klapper said.

A strobe light also is incorporated in the system because deer will stop in their tracks if a beam is shone directly at them, Klapper said.

The system adds up to $2,000 to the cost of the luxury cars that come equipped with them, Autoliv officials said. However, they said, less expensive cars such as Hondas may carry them in the future, which would lower the cost of installing the systems at the factory.

Granada Books Sets Thursday Dramatic Reading

Granada Books and its nonprofit arm, Pomegranate Arts, will host libations and light bites for the community at the Marquee Lounge, 1212 State St., for the fourth in a series of “First Edition” events from 5 to 7 p.m. May 16, featuring a live actor’s recitation from the play “Freud’s Last Session.”

Walking tours from the Marquee to the site of Granada Books at 1224 State St. will occur throughout Thursday night as attendees witness the bookstores progress. The store, first of its kind in 22 years, is set to open June 20.

In keeping in the mission of Pomegranate Arts, actor Ed Giron on Thursday will perform in character at the Marquee and recite excerpts from the play “Freud’s Last Session,” by Mark St. Germain. Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and C. S. Lewis, author of “The Chronicles of Narnia,” meet in this fictionalized account as the two great thinkers convene at the invitation of Freud and the sparks fly.

Freud meets Lewis in his study at the onset of World War II, and two weeks before Freud takes his own life. The religious Lewis and the atheist Freud debate, relate and analyze each other in both comedic and dramatic exchanges. Lewis is as strong in his beliefs as Freud is in his non-beliefs as Lewis gives Freud a reasoned analysis for his beliefs, not without humor and irony.

“Freud’s Last Session” explores belief, sex, faith, life, death and philosophy in a “session” that is entertaining and insightful.

The “First Edition” Bookstore Tour event series began April 25, and will continue with another event in May. Architectural renderings of the bookstore’s design and layout as well as the new Pomegranate Courtyard performance space will be on display. The courtyard will feature literary events, instrumental and vocal acoustic music, dance, film screenings and spoken word performances.


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