ADAS: a Rebirth for the Automotive Industry

Article By : Yole Développement

The automotive industry has seen the impact of the coronavirus crisis evolve from a supply shock to a global demand shock. Yole asserts that the greater ADAS functionality will restart the industry after the coronavirus crisis...

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) functionality will attract customers and restart growth of the automotive business. “The production of vehicles will be heavily impacted by the coronavirus crisis”, asserts Pierrick Boulay, Technology & Market Analyst, Solid-state Lighting at Yole Développement (Yole). “It is expected that three years will be needed to recover and get back to the same level of output.”

At Yole, analysts estimate, the global market for radars, cameras, LiDARs and computing ADAS should reach US$8.6 billion in 2020. Almost half of this market revenue will be generated by radars with US$3.8 billion, followed by cameras with US$3.5 billion. LiDARs will not be significant, accounting for US$0.04 billion and computing ADAS will generate US$1.3 billion.

The market research & strategy consulting company Yole releases the Sensing and Computing for ADAS vehicle 2020 report. Which strategy will be used to restart the industry after the Covid-19 crisis? Who are the sensor players and how they are related? What is the supply chain of these sensors?… Yole’s analysts sheds light on the Sensing and Computing for ADAS vehicles sector.

Greater ADAS functionality will restart the industry after the coronavirus crisis

The automotive industry has seen the impact of the coronavirus crisis evolve from a supply shock to a global demand shock. The production of new cars is expected to decline by 30% compared to the 2019 production level. The direction of the automotive industry towards the four major megatrends of connected, autonomous, shared and electric driving is expected to remain unchanged going forward. However, the speed of adoption might change due to the emergency. Electrification will be the main focus for OEM s as restrictions and associated penalties on CO2 emissions should remain valid.

The second target for OEMs will be related to the development of ADAS for safety and automated driving features. The development of AEB is a great step to avoid forward collisions but is still perfectible, as demonstrated by the AAA in October 2019. Automated driving features in traffic jams or on the highway will also be developed by OEMs as consumers are looking for these to ease driving. The development of such features will be a way for OEMs to differentiate themselves. To do so, the addition of more sensors, more computing power and a new E/E architecture will be required.

A sensor market worth US$22.4 billion in 2025, led by radars

Cédric Malaquin, Technology & Market Analyst, RF Devices & Technology from Yole comments: “Audi and Tesla, have both initiated this trend using a combination of radars, cameras and a LiDAR in Audi’s case. To fuse the data generated, Audi and Aptiv developed a domain controller, the zFAS, for front sensors. Tesla goes one step further in the development of domain controllers with its Autopilot hardware. Autopilot is much more complex and has more functionality, with the ability to perform frequent OTA software updates”.

For example, technology advances dedicated to Audi A8 has been deeply detailed during an interview powered by Junko Yoshida, EE Times with Romain Fraux, CEO of System Plus Consulting: “…The challenge for automotive manufacturers will no longer be offering the most speed, or the best acceleration from zero to 100 km/h, but to ensure increasingly advanced autonomous driving and assistance systems. This is the goal of the Audi A8, to continue improving level 2 driver assistance systems, using LiDAR technology…”. Without doubts, innovation brought by such features will be a key differentiation factor for OEMs looking to relaunch the market.

With high penetration rates of radars and cameras in cars, the associated market revenues will recover rapidly from the coronavirus crisis. According to Pierrick Boulay from Yole: “Radar market revenue is expected to surpass 2019’s revenue in 2021 and will reach US$9.1 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 19%. Camera market revenue will also surpass 2019’s revenue in 2021 and will reach US$8.1 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 18%. Market revenue from computing ADAS is expected to reach US$3.5 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 22%”.

LiDAR market revenue is quite limited today as only one OEM is implementing this sensor as an option in some of its cars. Other OEMs like BMW and Volvo are expected to follow in coming years, but the implementation will remain limited to high-end vehicles, and therefore limited volumes are expected. In this context, LiDAR market revenue is expected to reach US$1.7 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 113%. LiDAR is a complex sensor for OEMs and Tier-1s to integrate while radars and cameras are, at the same time, continuously improving their performance.

Better sensor performance to enable automated driving

Today, radars and cameras are the main sensors used by OEMs to develop safety and automated driving features. Consequently, the penetration rate of forward ADAS mono cameras will increase from 51% in 2020 to 85% in 2025. This type of camera is multi-purpose and is used for AEB for also for other functionalities like Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) or Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) in mainstream cars. For most advanced cars, forward ADAS triple cameras are used to develop advanced automated driving features like Tesla’s.

Radars are keeping pace, and the technology is continuously improving. Starting in 2019, the use of 3D radar with a better vertical field of view enabled detection of vehicle height. Radar performance will keep increasing with the implementation of imaging radars expected to start in 2021. This use of imaging radar will be combined with the use of artificial intelligence and deep learning.

On the LiDAR side, technology is moving from a macro-mechanical scanning to MEMS scanning and flash. Most LiDAR manufacturers are involved in these solid-state technologies. One of the issues for LiDAR is its integration into the vehicle. Today it is integrated in the grill, but that may not be the ideal solution. Two other positions, in headlamps or behind the windshield, are targeted by Tier-1s and OEMs.

To do so, more R&D will be necessary to reduce the volume of this sensor and allow its integration. Another issue for LiDAR is the need to process the large quantity of data it generates. High computing power, over 25 teraoperations per second (Tops), will be necessary. The last issue with LiDAR is its cost compared to the two other technologies. It is about 10 times costlier than an ADAS mono camera. Alongside volume reduction, cost reduction will also be required for significant adoption by OEMs.

ADAS and the automotive industry will see lot of changes in the coming months and years. Pushed by innovations and the integration of new functions, the market will open the door to attractive opportunities and new players.

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