Vehicle Electrification is an automotive global market trend that self-driving cars and trucks are adopting to help centralize control and seamless exchange of data and information across systems, to reduce hazards, decrease emissions, and optimize traffic too. The growing focus on the electrification of vehicles is supporting the evolution of the safety electronics demand for both cars and trucks due is helping to enhance user experience (by integrating smartphones and electronic devices) on high-end infotainment, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), digital clusters, and telematics applications.
Several top manufacturers are not only working with electronic embedded technologies —to increase safety and reduce the vehicle weight, but also on alternative propulsion technologies like flexible fuel, natural gas engines, or Hybrid Electric (HEV) and all-Electric Vehicles (EV) for integrating efficient functional systems to achieve higher fuel efficiency. This is boosting the demand for safety solutions, electrification of engine mechanism, propulsion technologies, and infotainment innovations.
This accelerated electrification of vehicles, together with the public adoption of connected vehicle concept and the integration of advanced safety features, is kicking the demand for reliable and robust E/E systems. The global automotive safety electronics market is expected to reach around $40 billion by 2023 —with a 12% CAGR growth between 2017-2023, according to the Automotive Safety Electronics Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2018-2023 report from Research and Markets. The Chevy Bolt, Toyota Prius Prime, and Tesla Model X are leading the Electric Vehicles (EV) sales in the US: from 158,614 vehicles sold in 2016 to 199,826 vehicles in 2017 —a 21% growth YoY.
Driven by government regulations, the extended applications for E/E systems embedded across HEV/EV segments are being engineered to comply with the highest ISO 26262 Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL-D) guaranteeing a safe state activation when something out-of-ordinary happens, especially critical on autonomous vehicles. All those E/E systems require a safety microcontroller (MCU) and a reliable, safe source of power connected to the battery of the vehicle —the System Basis Chip (SBC). Both MCUs and SBCs are the backbone of embedded architectures that includes independent hardware monitoring, simplifying Electronic Control Units (ECUs) design.
IMAGE: Technologies to enable car electrification and autonomous drive
Autonomous Vehicles demand advanced safety and secure architectures (with a dedicated quantitative and qualitative safety analysis) to size the risk, improve system robustness, and predict system after failure —through configurable fail-safe or fail-silent behaviors. The electrification of vehicles trend requires reliable E/E systems capable of taking decisions and acting as a human driver —or close enough; combining functional safety and electric control systems to decide and act on applications like parking brake, steering, powertrain, anti-lock braking, or transmission systems.