Self-driving cars: A massive AI-powered transformation is underway

Yole Développement, a research and strategy consulting company, and its partner System Plus Consulting have been analyzing the semiconductor industry for several years, and more particularly in the field of automotive applications. They published, on March 23, a study entitled “Automotive industry: a massive AI-powered transformation is ongoing” which reveals the decisive role of the automotive market for the development of innovations in semiconductors..

Yole and System Plus Consulting analysts collaborate on a daily basis for a comprehensive understanding of the industry, examining technical trends and market developments. Based on a dedicated methodology and expertise in semiconductor technologies applied to the automotive sector, the two companies publish numerous analyses, including technology reports and market studies.

The self-driving car market

Road mobility represents a market of 10,000 billion US dollars. CASE megatrends (connected, autonomous, shared and electrified) have taken the industry by storm. Cars sold today are adopting new imaging technology equipment to support new features, and in particular support the transition from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to Autonomous Driving (AD).

This technology relies on cameras, radars, LiDARs, edge and cloud computing. Yole automotive analysts predict that ADAS to AD technology will grow at a CAGR of 12% over the period 2021-2027, reaching, at the electronic module level, US$25 billion in 2027.

Pierrick Boulay, Senior Technology & Market Analyst, Lighting and Display at Yole, explains:

“Today, only 12.3% of the 1,300 million cars in circulation in the world are equipped with ADAS technology. This figure will increase to 49% of the estimated 1,800 million cars on the road by 2030. This development is due to the huge increase in the penetration of technology in the cars produced each year. From 21% five years ago, ADAS is now installed on 65% of all vehicle production in 2022, and that number will reach 86% by 2027.”

Commercialization of self-driving cars will still take time, however the study predicts that spending on electronic modules for ADAS to AD technology will double in the next five years. So far, ADAS technology focuses on radar, which is expected to reach 9.3 billion US dollars, then camera modules including image sensor, optics and camera housing will account for 8.9 billion US dollars. U.S. dollars.

According to the report, imaging using standard CIS is being pushed to the limits of its perceptual capabilities. “Brute force” are the words used by some companies to describe the high-computing strategy developed by AI companies to solve AD challenges through “camera-only” approaches.

Other players have a different approach, notably thanks to the introduction of LiDAR and thermal imaging solutions, or even SWIR imaging solutions in the near future.

Adrien Sanchez, Technology and Market Analyst, IT at Yole, comments:

“AD technology is not yet fully here for automotive consumers, while robotic taxi fleets using a different set of hardware and software are beginning to grow in a number of cities. At a figure of US$100,000 per car, there are already a few thousand robotic cars doing the job. AI technology combined with extremely powerful chipsets will also require different sensor modalities; these are the main factors favoring autonomy. »

A hotly contested market

Semiconductor companies like Mobileye, Nvidia, and Qualcomm have carved out a place in the automated driving systems market and provide the chips needed to process data from cameras, radars, and LiDARs. At the same time, mainstream market players, like Sony, Huawei, Alibaba, Baidu…, have partnered with established OEMs to build a new car and provide the autonomous/automated driving technology.

The recent partnership between Honda and Sony is an example of this: Honda will manufacture the car and Sony will contribute its expertise in the development and application of imaging, sensing, telecommunications, network and entertainment technologies.

In the past two years, many new OEMs have emerged in the automotive sector and are building electric cars around semiconductors and AI software for AD. Among them, XPeng, Nio, Link&Co, IM motors and Arcfox, integrate an average of six ADAS cameras and four visualization cameras in their car plus two cameras in the cabin, five radars, and up to five LiDARs…

We want to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this remarkable content

Self-driving cars: A massive AI-powered transformation is underway

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