Trends and dilemmas ask the way of automotive electronics

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At present, the cost of electronic systems on automobiles may account for about 25-30% of the total vehicle cost, which will exceed 40% this year. The size of China’s auto electronics market is expected to exceed 300 billion yuan in 2012. On the other hand, the rapid development of new energy vehicles has also accelerated the application and development of electronic control systems in automobiles. Automotive electronic control technology has become the main battlefield for the development of automotive technology and market competition.
From the perspective of market development trends, the systematization, integration, and intelligence of automotive electronic technology is an inevitable direction. The three major trends revolve around three main lines: vehicle safety, energy conservation and emission reduction, comfort and convenience, and performance improvement. The mainstream technology that runs through these three main lines is electronic, systematic, integrated, and intelligent automotive systems.
Three main lines of automotive electronics
1、 Automotive Safety Technology
The market and social demand for automobile safety technology mainly come from three factors: the requirements of consumers for safety, the formulation of the latest safety regulations, and the increasing distraction of drivers. The survey found that 57% of consumers believed that the driver assistance system or driveway guidance system to help them avoid leaving the lane was a very important factor to consider when they bought a car. In order to reduce automobile accidents, many countries have formulated various laws and regulations to make specific requirements for automobile safety.
On the other hand, the application of smart phones, in-car entertainment systems and navigation systems in the car makes drivers more and more distracted. Improper use is likely to cause traffic accidents. Therefore, government regulations and user requirements determine the development law of the market. Modern electronic technology makes it possible to avoid accidents and accidents, or can greatly reduce the loss of accidents, and promote the development of safety technology.
Vehicle safety technology can be divided into active safety system and passive safety system. Active safety system refers to the safety technology that can prevent accidents, such as ABS/ESC, various driver auxiliary systems, such as collision warning, lane keeping system, blind spot warning system and tail monitoring system, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), electric power steering system (EPS) and body electronic safety system; Passive safety system refers to the safety technology used to avoid or reduce the degree of casualties after an accident, such as safety belt, airbag, rollover passenger protection system, etc.
2. Automotive energy saving and emission reduction electronic technology
For traditional energy vehicles, it includes engine electronic control and management system, electronic automatic transmission (ECAT), electronic steering system and vehicle start/stop system. For new energy vehicles, automotive electronic control technology is the basic technical condition to realize new energy vehicles. In turn, the development of new energy vehicles has brought more new opportunities to automotive electronics, including drive motor and drive control system, battery and battery management system (BMS), vehicle electronic control system, thermal management system, EPS or steering-by-wire system, brake energy recovery system, etc.
3. Comfort and convenience/enhance system performance
Ride comfort, network informatization and system performance improvement are also the main driving forces of the electronic automobile system. It mainly includes: body control module (BCM): networked integration of control modules on the vehicle’s internal body, including door, window, wiper, headlight, seat control, demist/defrost, etc; Telematics is the Internet of Vehicles: the vehicle is connected with the external network. Telephone, GPS navigation, real-time traffic information, Internet access, remote fault diagnosis/anti-theft, entertainment, C2C communication and other electronic modules that make the car become a “mobile network terminal”; Intelligent navigation/intelligent transportation system (ITS): It can realize target monitoring, dispatching, road traffic information service, vehicle assisted navigation, etc. The system can obtain the weather along the way, traffic flow on the road ahead, traffic accidents, traffic jams and other information. According to the target data items provided by the driver, it can provide the best driving route with the shortest distance and can bypass the place where the vehicle density is relatively concentrated, and realize the intelligent vehicle assisted navigation. Others: such as automatic air conditioning control system, active noise elimination technology in the vehicle, etc. Three mainstream technologies of automotive electronics
There are more and more electronic control units in cars. With the development and maturity of embedded system integrated control technology, computer technology, and network technology, the integration, networking, and intelligence of automotive electronic control systems have become an inevitable trend in the development of automotive technology.
1. Integration. Strengthen the safety, fuel economy, handling stability, comfort, and other performance of the vehicle system as a whole, improve the value of the vehicle, and reduce total costs. Currently, the two most typical integration areas are chassis and powertrain integration.
2. Networking. Fast data exchange, high reliability and low cost are the requirements for the automotive electronic network system, which can achieve data communication, information sharing and functional coordination and optimization among various systems.
The bus technology connects all kinds of electronic control units, intelligent sensors, intelligent instruments, etc. in the automobile to form the internal local area network of the automobile, and communicates with each other through the protocol to realize the sharing of information among various systems. The main advantages include: greatly reducing the number, connection points and types of car harnesses, and improving the reliability and maintainability of the system; Universal sensors are used to achieve the purpose of data and information sharing; Improve the flexibility of the system, that is, change of system functions can be realized through software.
3. Intelligence. Modern automotive technology is moving towards a more active and intelligent direction, achieving intelligent coordination of the “human vehicle environment”. The main feature of intelligent systems is to use technology to compensate for the shortcomings of considerations, enabling them to automatically and accurately control vehicles even in very complex road environments, making them safer, more comfortable, and safer. Energy saving and better performance have further improved the value and efficiency of automotive electronic products in the entire vehicle.
The characteristic of intelligence is that the system can actively assist the driver to take necessary actions, which is reflected in the system must have three characteristics, namely, the ability of real-time perception, the ability of judgment and decision-making, and the ability of control and execution. In fact, the highly reactive driver assistance system (active safety system) currently being developed has a high degree of intelligence, such as: lane departure prevention system/lane keeping system, active collision avoidance system, adaptive cruise control system, intelligent navigation/intelligent transportation system, intelligent driving system – driverless vehicle, intelligent airbag, etc.
Key core technology of automobile electronic system
The development and competitiveness of the domestic automotive electronics industry depends on the development and industrialization of upstream semiconductor products and integrated modules in China. Chip and core component technology is the foundation and guarantee for the development of the automotive electronics industry. Currently, this field is monopolized by foreign enterprises, and it is basically dependent on imports. On this basis, secondary development has no advantages in terms of technology and cost.
The key core technologies of automotive electronic systems include:
Electronic control unit (ECU): the core of electronic control system. The ability to develop and manufacture automotive embedded electronic chips and PCBs with strong performance, durability, reliability, high quality, low cost and can work in complex and harsh environments is the basic requirement of automotive electronic control system for electronic control units. Control and software technology: control algorithms and embedded software are the most critical part of the development of automotive electronic technology, and also the biggest technical bottleneck. It is necessary to realize the core control functions, fault diagnosis and fault safety protection, and communication with other systems and components. Electric control actuator: It is the key component of the electric control system. Its working accuracy, performance and reliability directly determine the performance and quality of the control system. The basic requirements for the actuator are high precision, fast response, high power density (small size and light weight), low noise, durability and reliability, high quality and low cost. Sensor technology: the type and quantity of sensors required are increasing. High accuracy, high reliability, high quality and low cost are the basic requirements of system application. In the future, sensor technology is also developing towards multi-function, integration, intelligence and miniaturization.
Electronic system networking and vehicle integration: the performance and cost of the system depend on the optimal matching of components in the system. Integration includes the system of the electronic control system itself or the whole vehicle. The integration of network communication must have the technical knowledge and experience of electromechanical integration, a deep understanding of system knowledge, and even a deep grasp of the whole vehicle dynamics and related systems. Taking MCU (micro controller) as an example, international manufacturers such as Infineon, Freescale, NXP, Reza, TI and so on account for more than 90% of the market. The number of vehicles used per vehicle exceeds 100, and some high-end vehicles even reach more than 250. MCU accounts for more than 1/4 of the total cost of PCBA (Printed Circuit Board+Assembly). There is a huge difference between foreign enterprises and local enterprises in procurement costs.
Another example is an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit). Currently, domestic chip manufacturers have not really started to apply chips in a large number in the automotive field. In addition, almost all special chips are subject to patent restrictions. Therefore, ASICs purchased by domestic component manufacturers mainly come from simplified versions that are being applied or being applied by international large factories. Domestic component manufacturers have little choice and lose their bargaining power.
Mastering the key core technologies in the above aspects is the key to achieving the development ability of automotive electronic control systems, achieving industrialization, and manufacturing high-performance, high-quality, and low-cost high-end electronic technology products.
The Dilemma and Breakthrough of Domestic Automotive Electronics Technology
Pan Dinghai, General Manager of the Automotive Electronics Technology Center of Shanghai Aerospace Automotive Electromechanical Co., Ltd., once said, “Our automotive market is still in the Warring States period, a battlefield of the world’s automotive industry, but in the field of automotive technology, it can be said to be fragmented.” He pointed out that the domestic automotive and supporting enterprises do not master core technologies, especially the lack of key cutting-edge technical support for the development of the automotive industry: automotive electronics technology.
Although the prospects of China’s auto electronics market seem bright from the perspective of overall market data, the domestic market profits are almost divided up by foreign manufacturers, and local enterprises can only grab the remaining 1/10 at most.
First of all, automotive electronics is facing the technology and market monopoly of foreign enterprises. Although most of the technologies have been developed in foreign countries, the core technologies are controlled by the supporting companies in Europe, America and Japan, and the domestic market is almost monopolized by them.
Secondly, it lacks core technology and R&D capabilities. Domestic enterprises have weak R&D capability, lack of core technology and innovation capability, and their products hover at the low level and small-scale level.
At the same time, it lacks long-term strategy and cooperative spirit. Everyone develops – Repeated development, decentralized research and development technology, and serious resource waste. The auto parts industry has not received substantial strategic support from the main engine manufacturers, and the situation is not optimistic.
In response to these difficulties, Pan Dinghai proposed several ideas:
First of all, long-term strategic cooperation between vehicle manufacturers and domestic auto parts suppliers is indispensable. Vehicle manufacturers should plan to cultivate domestic electronic technology suppliers purposefully, establish long-term strategic cooperation with them, and provide market support and growth opportunities, which is the most effective and direct support for the development of domestic electronic technology.
The second is the direct strategic cooperation of auto electronics enterprises. The automotive electronics technology is difficult, the research and development cycle is long, the investment is large, and the competitors are strong. If we work together, we can greatly enhance our R&D strength and reduce investment risks, which may be a way to break through.
Thirdly, we call on the state to increase policy support, but the decision-making should be scientific and resources should be concentrated. Finally, it is suggested to establish a relatively independent national core technology and product development platform. Carry out research and development of core technology at the national level, and strive to achieve breakthroughs in basic technology and common technology, including the establishment and cultivation of core parts supply chain system.

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