Electronics makes vehicles greener, safer, connected
Modern vehicles have a large number of electronic systems and functions. The driving forces behind this development are the need for more safety, less emissions and energy consumption, more driver information and driver assistance, and more driving fun and comfort.
Automotive electronics started in the developed markets in 1950s and 60s with the introduction of semiconductor transistors in car radios and power diodes in alternators. Since the 80’s, the integration of electronic systems like engine management or brake control systems came into focus. Now automotive electronics is characterised by the vehicle-wide networking of all electronic systems, with additional functions.
The next stage could be networking between the vehicle and the environment. All those trends are enabled by electronics and communication technologies supporting increasing digitalization, integration and networking of electronic devices.
Automotive electronics experts visualise that the `intelligent’ vehicle of the future will have 3 main architectural elements: Intelligent sensors; electronic domain control units; and mechatronic actuators.
Carmakers, telecommunications companies, hardware and software providers, and various others with a stake in the future of vehicle electronics and connectivity discuss various themes, which they consider would make the future vehicles, especially cars.
Now the majority of consumers want their car act as an extension of their phone for music, contacts, navigation, and more. Consumers are accustomed to their phones performing regular software updates on a daily basis without their intervention or a visit to the phone store. They want the same with their cars also. Nobody wants the hassle and expense of going to a dealer to fix an issue and expect the car do itself.
As cars become more adaptable, drivers can expect their favourite radio stations, temperature settings, destinations, seat settings, and more to travel with them via their phone. And that applies to any car, whether it’s one’s own, a friend’s, or even a rental as carmakers adapt to the car sharing movement.
Surveys by the industry analysts indicate that 30% of motorists want parking info in their cars. Now that navigation, weather, and traffic information are readily available, urban and suburban drivers are looking for help in parking. It is expected to become more widely available as the infrastructure catches up. There will be even the opportunity to pay from the car itself.
Automotive electronics is expected to continue its growth momentum. Electronics content in cars in India is said to be worth between US$ 500 and $ 1,000. “I would say it is in a growth path. If you take a conservative approach, 25-30% CAGR on automotive electronics is completely doable and if there is any regulatory push that is coming in we can see even more than 30% of growth,” Amit Jain, Country Head, Visteon India, has said.
Noida-based Actia India Pvt Ltd, the manufacturer and supplier of
on-board systems, connected vehicle technology, DC to DC converters, diagnostics and testing solutions to automotive industry, anticipates a proliferation of electronic content in commercial vehicles. New regulations on fuel efficiency, quality and safety will necessitate increase in electronics parts in vehicles.
However, this growth is linked to the ability of the suppliers to cope with some challenges like: How to handle the increasing complexity of networked automotive systems in the development phase; how to keep vehicles – despite their increasing electronics content – affordable for the consumer; how to assure extended lifetime reliability and availability of the vehicles despite the underlying, very complex electronic systems.
The Cover Story of this issue is highlighting the contributions, discoveries, products and systems of companies that help meet these and more complex challenges and make vehicle more electronics-driven.
Connectivity was everywhere at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, USA. From January 5 to 8, CES 2017 also featured Super Sessions and conference tracks that focused on technology trends and policy issues. The conference on `Self-Driving Cars: New Rules of the Road’, discussed with top executives from Blackberry, Intel and Mobileye on how a collaborative approach between automakers, hardware and software developers is driving the rapid pace of self-driving innovations. The panelists agreed that in order to reach the expected goal of having self-driving cars on the road by 2020, the industry needs to fully solve the convergence of IoT and artificial intelligence.
AT CES 2017, Visteon Corporation introduced its next-generation Phoenix infotainment platform. It signals a technological breakthrough in infotainment, which is quickly becoming the digital core of the connected car. Meanwhile, another automotive electronics company, Magneti Marelli, which designs and produces advanced systems and components, dedicated its display to technology and innovation in the automobile sector, specifically related to the topics of Illumination, electronic Systems and Motor Sports.
Tata Elxsi, part of the $100 Billion Tata group and a leading global design and technology services provider for the automotive industry, in partnership with DiSTI Corporation Florida, USA, has developed an integrated e-cockpit solution with IVI, IC, HUD, and ADAS features, all integrated on a single Renesas R-Car H3 platform, with the UX developed completely using DiSTI’s GL Studio.
The US-based MSC Software, a simulation software product provider for automotive industry plans to increase its supplier base in India to help the tier companies and OEMs optimise their designs using virtual prototypes. The Boston-headquartered MathWorks, a simulation solution provider, specialises in mathematical computing software for applications in the new trends in automotive industry, codes algorithms for multi domain design optimisation of OEMs.
Renesas Electronics Corporation, a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, has announced its first RH850based, 32-bit, automotive radar microcontroller (MCU) series, the RH850/V1R. It will deliver the high performance and features required for enabling future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The RH850/V1R-M, the first product from the RH850/V1R Series, includes a digital signal processor (DSP, Note 1) and high speed serial interfaces and is specifically designed for middle-to long-range radars.
The Japanese OMRON, manufacturer of automotive electronics, plans to introduce its flagship product, Image sensor/ Human Vision Component (HVC) in the global market in a few months and in India by 2020.
Novire Technologies Pvt Ltd is developing and providing smart IT solutions,that are basically the confluence of the 4 major business trends - Mobile Technologies, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Internet of Things, to the logistics and transportation industry. It has been consistently developing newer technologies, and has recently floated 2 new separate units –Autoplant, and ITBS - truck load.