ATLANTA. Founded by the father-daughter team of Jere and Diane Lansinger – he an ex-Chrysler engineer and she a veteran of Microsoft and two start-up ventures – SEEVA is showing off a new heating system for windshield washer fluid aimed at commercial trucks, not only to help clean off windshields faster in snow and ice conditions but also to keep external cameras and sensor arrays clear of snow, ice, dirt and other forms of road grime so they keep functioning effectively.
“[Truck cameras] feature high-grade lenses – and wiping those lenses off scratches them more,” explained Dian Lansinger during a press conference at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) 2018 annual meeting. “Taking a ‘hands off’ cleaning approach more important because five to 10 years from now, trucks will have four to five major sensor systems on them – and drivers can’t spend a lot of downtime to clean them off.”
She said Navistar bought the entire production run of “Version 1” of their washer fluid heating system, named SEEVAtherm – which taps into the engine as the fluid’s heat source – as part of a contact for 550 or so snowplow trucks operated by the New York Department of Transportation. Now SEEVA is building a “Version 2” of its SEEVAtherm unit that is lighter and that features a “short” and “long” model, offering varying degrees of heating capability.
Diane said “Version 1” of the product weighed in at two pounds and provided 3,000 watts of heating power, taking about three to four minutes to clean off a frozen windshield in zero-degree weather in recent testing. Version 2, however, weights in around one pound and features two models, one with 6,000 watts of heating power and the other with 7,500 watts, which can clean off the same frozen windshield in under a minute. The retail cost of Version 2 is pegged around $189 but is lower based on volume purchases.
"When Jere Lansinger, my co-founder and dad, retired from Chrysler after forty years as an automotive engineer, he took with him an approved list of projects he continued to tinker with into retirement. This is how SEEVA started," said Diane Lansinger, SEEVA’s CEO and co-founder. "Realizing the visibility problems facing autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems, he created a washer fluid heating product that cleans and helps these vehicles see more safely and reliably. It will help the hardware and software in these autonomous vehicles see the road more clearly.”