2018 has been a turbulent year for the automotive industry.
This year, the record of continuous growth in production and sales in the Chinese automotive market for 28 consecutive years abruptly ended. Suzuki, who has worked hard in China for many years, also officially bid farewell to the Chinese stage. The automotive manufacturing industry, led by General Motors in North America, has experienced massive layoffs worldwide. Winter has come for traditional cars.
In the field of new concept vehicles, it is another scene. Last July, Tesla announced the establishment of a factory in Shanghai, and “new forces of car building” such as Xiaopeng Automobile frequently released new models. Weilai Automobile has even sounded the bell of NASDAQ, becoming the first stock of new energy vehicles in China. From a national perspective, the total sales volume of new energy vehicles in 2018 was 1.256 million, a year-on-year increase of 61.7%. At the same time, the dual credit policy has officially begun to be implemented, and the credit line will become an important policy to promote the development of new energy vehicles in China in the future. With the continuous advancement of intelligent and electric vehicles, new concept vehicles are enjoying the dividends of rapid growth. https://store.stoneitech.com/
Turbulence and change have been mentioned constantly throughout the year. But when the “new four modernizations” tide of “electrification”, “networking”, “intellectualization” and “internationalization” is rolling in, the cold winter and the shuffle are only appearances, and the changes in smart electric vehicles, shared travel, automatic driving and other fields really deserve our attention.
But there is no doubt that, as an important part of the automobile industry, the automobile electronics industry, which is closely related to intelligent Internet and new energy, has ushered in a new era of development. A new era of automotive software and electronic systems has begun. The business model, customer demand and competition pattern that the industry has always adhered to will undergo drastic changes.
The Secret Under the Iron Shell
Automotive electronics is a new industry formed by applying electronic information technology to automobiles. In a broad sense, automotive electronics includes software and hardware such as basic components, electronic components, vehicle electronics, electromechanical integrated electronic control systems, vehicle distributed electronic control systems, and external electronic systems related to automotive electronics. From a system perspective, it includes component systems, in-vehicle networks, and inter vehicle networks.
Under the iron shell, the electronic equipment is almost “impenetrable”, which can be said to be the “think tank” of the car. As we all know, the automobile is composed of four parts, namely body, chassis, engine and electronic system. In fact, they are a kind of inlaid relationship, that is, the automobile electronics are basically included in the body, chassis and engine.
From the perspective of visibility, automotive electronics can be divided into visible on-board electronic systems and invisible electronic control systems. The two are like the relationship between the switch (visible) of the lights in the house and the circuit (invisible) inside the switch.
Vehicle electronic systems, also known as communication and entertainment systems, refer to electronic devices that can be independently used in the vehicle environment. It is not directly related to the driving performance of the vehicle itself. It mainly includes vehicle information systems (such as trip computers), satellite navigation systems, vehicle video entertainment systems, vehicle communication systems, etc. Once upon a time, automotive electronics was regarded as a dispensable “chicken rib”, but over the past few decades, it has evolved from a simple car MP3, radio, and other powerful entertainment systems, and even “moved” tablet computers into cars. Driven by the increase in the product rate of vehicle entertainment systems and GPS, as well as the rapid development of the automotive electronic after-sales market,
The performance of the electronic control system directly determines the performance of the entire vehicle. It is used in conjunction with the mechanical systems on the vehicle to form an “electromechanical” automotive electronic device. It is mainly used in engines, chassis, and vehicle bodies, including power control systems, safety control systems, and vehicle body control systems. It can greatly improve the dynamic performance, safety performance, and comfort and energy saving of vehicles, so it has a large market share.
The power control system mainly refers to the sensor and control system of the power system based on the automotive engine, gearbox, and other power systems. It is commonly used for engine combustion control, vehicle exhaust gas circulation treatment, automatic transmission control, etc. As the main product of the power control system market, Engine Management System (EMS), has been basically popularized in automobiles, new applications and new products have not yet been widely promoted, and the market will maintain a relatively slow growth rate.
The safety control system is divided into active safety system and passive safety system. The active safety control system aims to improve the active safety performance of the vehicle, and is a technology that can prevent accidents. For example, the anti-lock braking system (ABS), which has been widely used, can prevent wheel lockup during emergency braking, make the vehicle braking force greater, braking distance shorter, and improve the ability of the vehicle to resist side slip and tail spin. In addition, some seemingly “black technology” active safety systems are also becoming more and more common, such as the lane distance safety system, which can count the data of surrounding vehicles, and it will not give any prompt at the average speed. If the car in front or next to you suddenly brakes or overtakes, you will respond in time.
Passive safety control system is a control system that can greatly reduce the impact strength of a vehicle in the event of an accident, provide protection for drivers and passengers after the accident, and avoid or reduce the degree of injury and death, including airbag, early warning seat belt, and other vehicle bodies
Control system, including steering control, instrument panel, air conditioning control system, car anti-theft system, central control door lock, etc. Generally speaking,
Various control systems are composed of sensors (collecting signals), electronic control units (ECU, processing signals and outputting commands), and actuators (executing commands). “Automobile Brain” ECU is the core technology of automobile electronic control system.
In short, the ECU consists of a microcomputer and peripheral circuits. A microcomputer is a unit that integrates a microprocessor (CPU), memory, and input/output interfaces on a single chip. Taking engine fuel injection as an example, the sensor receives road condition information and inputs this signal to the ECU after rapid processing. Immediately after processing, the ECU sends a command to the actuator injector to increase the fuel injection amount. After receiving the command signal, the fuel injector increases the valve opening and fuel intake. Not only the engine, but almost all control systems in cars, such as gearboxes, windows, air conditioners, lights, and airbags, cannot be separated from the ECU.
New Revolution in Automotive Technology
Since the 1960s, automotive control systems have begun to shift from mechanical control to electronic control. After three stages of development: independent control, centralized control, and vehicle control, it can be said that automotive electronic products have penetrated into various subsystems of modern automotive control. At the same time, vehicle electronic systems have also developed rapidly, and the penetration rate of vehicle audio, vehicle communication, and other systems has continuously increased. Modern automotive electronics integrates electronic technology, automotive technology, information technology, computer technology, and network technology, including basic technology layer, electronic control system layer, and human-vehicle environment interaction layer.
“In the past two years, from the perspective of main engine manufacturers, after automotive electronics separated from the entire vehicle, automotive electronics has become the top concern of main engine manufacturers.” Chen Xiaohua, president of Chery Central Research Institute and forward-looking technology research institute, believes that one of the main reasons is to meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements. For example, when self owned brand vehicles enter the international market, they face mandatory requirements of fuel saving and IPI regulations, and conventional energy conservation and emission reduction measures cannot be met. Only through automotive electronics can fuel be saved. In addition, the market has put forward requirements for economy, safety, comfort, and informatization.
Automotive electronics is seen as a revolution in the development of automotive technology. The degree of automotive electronics is regarded as an important indicator of the level of modern vehicles, and is an important technical measure to develop new models and improve vehicle performance. Automobile manufacturers believe that increasing the number of automotive electronic equipment and promoting automotive electronics is an important means of occupying the future automotive market. According to statistics, from 1989 to 2000, the average proportion of electronic equipment on each vehicle in the total vehicle manufacturing cost increased from 16% to over 23%. In some luxury cars, electronic products account for more than 50% of the total vehicle cost. Nowadays, electronic equipment has become an important component of vehicle control systems, accounting for an increasing proportion of costs. Some luxury cars have 48 single chip computers, accounting for more than 50% of the total vehicle cost.
Currently, 70% of automotive innovation comes from automotive electronics and will continue to improve in the future. Currently, the cost of automotive electronics has accounted for 47% of new energy vehicles and 65% of pure electric vehicles. With the gradual increase in the production of new energy vehicles, the output value of automotive electronic vehicles will continue to increase.
With the maturity of the automotive electronics industry and the increasing popularity of vehicle sales, the automotive electronics industry is characterized by continuous penetration into low-end models. Many automotive electronics products have changed from being patented for high-end models to being standard for ordinary models. The development history of vehicle body electronic stability systems (ESP, ESC, VSC, etc.) well reflects this industry trend. When the Bosch ESP first appeared in 1995, it was only fitted on a Mercedes Benz S-class sedan. With the development of the market and the decline in prices, Bosch ESP has developed to the ninth generation and has been widely used in intermediate vehicles such as Citroen. Domestic models such as BYD racing car and Ricky G5 have also started to carry ESP. According to relevant statistics,
Vehicular electronic systems also exhibit this feature. BMW’s iDrive system, Mercedes Benz’s Command system, and Audi’s MMI system have all appeared on the brand’s flagship models for the first time. With the increase in consumer demand and increasingly fierce competition among automakers, these high-tech features have also penetrated into entry-level models. For example, in the car central control system, the navigation system of the car central control screen used to be only installed on high-end models. However, the popularity of front mounted vehicle navigation has reached about 20%, becoming a basic and common model.
McKinsey released a report saying that it is an inevitable trend for high-end automotive electronic systems to further penetrate into low-end vehicles, and this trend will further improve the types and costs of single vehicle electronic systems. Compared to high-end vehicles, the number of medium and low end vehicles is larger and the market space is broader. The industrial trend of high-end electronic systems infiltrating into the low end will greatly stimulate the automotive electronics market, resulting in a significant increase in both volume and price.
Through the penetration of electronic technology, modern cars meet the requirements of safety, comfort, and energy conservation. There are more and more electronic control units in cars, and the number of sensors and wiring harnesses has also multiplied. The interaction between car computer systems and drivers and passengers is also increasing, and the attention paid to “human-computer interaction” is rapidly increasing. New technologies such as touch screen and voice control are gradually integrated into the field of automotive electronics. In the future, automotive electronic systems will develop towards intelligence, networking, and integration.
2018 has been a turbulent year for the automotive industry.