The global market for automotive electronics is set to rise to US$ 240 billion in 2020, up more than 50 per cent from US$ 157 billion in 2010. This opens up huge opportunities in this sector.
Automotive industry is the key driver of any growing economy. It plays a pivotal role in country's rapid economic and industrial development. Indian automotive industry contributes significantly to the overall GDP and also provides significant business and employment opportunities. With rising automobile sales in India, the automotive industry in poised to grow tremendously in the next few years. The rise in sales of automobile is directly proportionate to rise in demand for automotive electronics.
With the advancement in technology, the role of electronics in automobiles is on the rise. The electronics in automobiles have multiplied at an astounding rate in the last decade.
The global market for advanced automotive electronics - everything from driver assistance programmes to new kinds technologies - will jump to US$ 240 billion by 2020, up more than 50 per cent from 2010, according to a report from IMS Research. The overall cost of electronics is expected to reach 35 per cent in 2017 and close to 50 per cent in 2030, the report states.
In India, a variety of automotive electronics have been developed by the Automotive Electronics Department (AED) of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). These products include chassis dynamometer, Saarathi (Driver's Aid System), E-DACSTM (Engine Data Acquisition & Control System), digital dynamometer controller, and test cell automation system (TCAS).
Speaking about various products on offer by Visteon Automotive Systems India, a subsidiary of Visteon USA, Rana Mathew, Head of Corporate Communications, Visteon Automotive Systems India, said, "Visteon's electronics division makes instrument clusters, audio infotainment systems, and body electronics products. Visteon's subsidiary Halla Visteon Climate Control Corp is world's second largest automotive thermal systems company. HVCC makes products such as powertrain cooling systems, compressors, HVAC systems, AC lines, EGR coolers, intercoolers, etc."
"We supply products to Ford, Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Renault, Nissan, Tata, Mahindra, General Motors, etc. Some of the luxury makers like BMW, Mercedes Benz, JLR, Audi, Porsche also have our products imported from our plants in Europe and China," says Mathew.
Akhil Chaudhari, CEO, Binary Semantics (Fleet Robo), "Social computing is catching up, and accompanies risk and safety imperatives." He stressed on a need to seek a broad-based collaboration to address technology interoperability issues in the area of infotainment and connected cars. Chaudhari opined that demands would emerge to be able to operate a home appliance such that it is 'ready' for use when the driver or occupants reach home; creating the need to integrate various modes and manage them while offering a soothing experience as the time spent in an automobile is going up.
With connectivity to access cloud data rising, new levels of automations are being reached. Said Shivalik Prasad, ED, MapMyIndia, "Telematics technologies have the potential to convert vehicles from just a simple mode of transportation to moving information stations." He added, "The demand for connected vehicles is accelerated by developments such as collision warnings or remote maintenance that provide safety and comfort to the driver and passengers." Ford recently opened the Research and Innovation Centre at Palo Alto, accelerating the company's innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data. Earlier, the company introduced Ford Smart Mobility at the 2015 International CES outlining plans to accelerate innovation in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.
Ford is also leveraging its OpenXC platform to help learn how customers are using their vehicles, and is conducting analytics to detect patterns and learnings that lead to product improvements or new mobility services. In addition, Ford is testing an advanced human-machine interface to better understand how customers prefer to control systems such as the high-tech, multi-contour seat.
Bosch Automotive Electronics said they would invest about Rs 2,600 crore in electronic manufacturing projects over the next few years. Bosch will make investments in the field of electronics as part of its ongoing plans.
Persistent Systems provides embedded systems domain knowledge in the automotive electronics segment, helping customers reduce time to market and achieve lower operational costs. In addition, Persistent works with the NASSCOM Pune Auto Cluster initiative to bridge the gap between capabilities in the IT sector and the growing needs of the automotive and engineering sector in Western India.
For nearly a century, Philips Automotive has been providing lighting solutions in the aftermarket and OEM markets. One out of every three cars around the world comes equipped with Philips lamps.
Opportunities and challenges
With the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) and approximately 6.5 billon connected devices predicted by 2016, will see a lot of technology-driven advances. Intelligent machines, mostly driven by Electronic Control Units (ECUs), will drive this innovation.
Factors that contribute to opportunities for India are: firstly, Asia seeing a higher growth rate compared to mature markets in automotive electronics. There are a lot of reengineering activities taking place in India. The second factor is the availability of choice for the Indian consumer. As the cost of ECUs is driven down, the consumer in India knows that he can afford more electronic features in his car, at the same price point. Indian engineers have the opportunity to design features and systems to address specific needs of the local market.
There are some integral challenges that the Indian electronics industry is facing today. If not controlled in time, it can pose some serious challenges. The serious obstacles observed in the path of growth are the lack of friendly ecosystem for growth, inconsistent government initiatives, unstable exchange rate, poor infrastructure, and so on. It gets even harder to for India to catch up with the major global electronics manufacturing centres as the gap widens.
Technologies at a glance
Wi-Fi is the essential component in a connected vehicle and analysts expect an eight-fold growth in Wi-Fi enabled applications by 2019.
Bluetooth Smart technology promises to play a vital role in enabling connectivity between the car and wearable tech. This includes vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-person communications, allowing networked vehicles to communicate everything from crash, speed and upcoming hazards, to traffic alerts.
As the connected car evolves, so do concerns about network security. The call for affordable, high bandwidth secure in-car connectivity was answered by Ethernet, the widely deployed solution that has given the world high performance network reliability for decades. Automotive Ethernet has given way for high bandwidth in-car connectivity at affordable rates and with lower weight cabling than traditional methods.
(This article is based on a TE Connectivity release titled Rising Electronification in Modern Vehicles)