It all started with the data logger, today he has his sights set on autonomous driving: Uwe Hahne celebrates his 25th company jubilee in May.

Fantasy Became Reality

My twin brother and I had a favourite game at the end of the 1970s for hours we drove around the house in our Kettcars,” said Uwe Hahne. In their imagination, they were not driving around their parents’ property, but on the way to the Opel factory site. And instead of a Kettcar, they were sitting in an Ascona 400, the sporty Opel of which only 268 were built and which their father, an Opel employee, had driven for a short time as a company car. “The enthusiasm for cars was part of our upbringing,” explained Hahne.

And with childhood memories like that, it’s no wonder that Uwe Hahne really did set off for Opel on his first day at work – it was May 4, 1998. And he was behind the steering wheel of a Kadett E. Two internships had already taken him to the carmaker in Rüsselsheim, and he had also written his diploma thesis here. It was the perfect time for the electrical engineer “with a penchant for computer science” to join the company. Exterior mirrors that can be adjusted at the touch of a button or the electronically controlled ABS that prevents the wheels from locking: More and more electronic components were integrated into cars at the end of the 1990s – with profound consequences for automotive hardware and software as well as development processes.

25 years ago

The photo shows Uwe Hahne in 1998. The data logger (photo above) was not only the subject of his diploma thesis, he was also intensively involved with the functioning of the data recording system during his early days in Rüsselsheim. The screenshot below is from a TV report. The “bench boat” was presented in the programme “Die Automacher”.

“What has always attracted me is that we have always done pioneering work here over all these years – until today.”

Developments and processes that Uwe Hahne helped to shape from now on. “My first task was to develop a diagnostic tool using a data logger,” he recalls. A topic he had already dealt with during his diploma thesis. With the help of the logger, errors can be found if there are problems with the data transfer between the electrical components. In order to exclude such sources of error within the electronic architecture in advance, Uwe Hahne built the so-called “bench boat” together with colleagues. In February 1999, an article about it appeared in the Opel Post with the headline: “No more long wires”. For the first time, digital data buses were used to optimise the interaction and data exchange between the components – even before the first prototype was built on the pilot line.

The way to autonomous parking

The electrical and electronic architecture of the models grew – and with it the complexity. Uwe Hahne was responsible for the development of numerous advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), including the various levels of parking assist up to autonomous parking. Another area of expertise was and is the automatic emergency braking function. As a service designer, he is currently responsible for the functions of the active safety systems. The ADAS specialist’s focus is on automated and highly automated driving.

Instead of a kettcar: On his first day at work 25 years ago, Uwe Hahne drove up in Rüsselsheim in his Opel Kadett E, special model Frisco.
Opel love: Of course, the Opelaner remained loyal to the brand on his wedding day – an Opel Olympia from the Classic collection accompanied him and his wife.
For his 50th birthday, the colleague treated himself to a trip in an Opel GT from the Classic Collection. For his company anniversary, a trip in a Kadett E GSi is planned for the end of June.
Another memento of 25 years of Opel: at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 2015, Uwe Hahne jumped for the selfie photo at the Opel stand.

Patents in series

“What has always attracted me is that we have always done pioneering work here over all these years – until today,” says Uwe Hahne. A fact that is perfectly compatible with his original career aspiration as a child, namely that of an inventor. Over the years, the electronics specialist has filed numerous patents, three of which have gone into series production, including the “method for a staged activation of a collision avoidance system to prevent uncontrollable system interventions”, introduced in 2013/14 for the Astra. And for his 25th company anniversary, the 51-year-old is treating himself to a special trip back in time at the end of June: He will borrow an Opel Kadett E GSi from the Classic Collection to take a trip back to the early days of his time at Opel.

We say: Congratulations and many thanks for the exciting insights into 25 years of Opel!

Contact us!

Are you celebrating your 25th or 40th anniversary soon and would like to share your experiences and memories of the past years with us? Then please contact us at or write a corresponding note on the declaration of consent for the publication of your jubilee. We look forward to hearing your stories!

May 2023

Photos: Andreas Liebschner/Opel, private