Vehicle electronic control unit (ECU) consolidation targets the self-driving autonomous car

By Staff

Today, roughly one-third of the cost for a car is from automobile electronics.

This is expected to become 40% in 2020. Driving this will new technologies and capabilities in communications, infotainment, and increased safety features.

Vehicle production costs tied to automotive electronics will approach 50% to 60% as cars move toward autonomous self-driving.

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All of this will place further demand on automotive wiring harnesses (especially copper based for device powering) which are expected to change from proprietary protocols (heterogeneous) to homogenous (hierarchical) smart car networks interconnected by Ethernet.

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Today’s automotive electronics control units (ECU)

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Solving connected vehicle technlogy challenges and making all of the above easier to bring to market will be supported by continued consolidation of electronics control units (ECU) such as cockpit controllers, safety controllers, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) controllers, chassis controllers …

Tomorrow’s automotive electronics control units (ECU)

Comparing today’s automotive systems v. tomorrow’s electronics control units (ECU)

To further put into perspective the above images identifying the trend to consolidate today’s automotive systems v automotive electronics contol units of tomorrow, we present the following side-by-side comparison:

Today Tomorrow
Accident Recorder, Active Aerodynamics, Active Cabin Noise Suppression, Active Exhaust Noise Suppression, Active Suspension, Active Vibration Control, Active Yaw Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Front Lighting, Airbag Deployment, Antilock Braking, Auto-Dimming Mirrors, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Battery Management, Blind Spot Detection, Cabin Environment Controls, Communication Systems, Convertible Top Control, Cylinder Deactivation, Dedication Short Range Communications (DSRC), Driver Alertness Monitoring, Electronic Power Steering, Electronic Seat Control, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Throttle Control, Electronic Toll Collection, Electronic Valve Timing, Engine Control, Entertainment System, Event Data Recorder, Head-Up Displays, Hill Hold Control, Idle Stop-Start, Instrument Cluster, Intelligent Turn Signals, Interior Lighting, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Navigation, Night Vision Systems, On-Board Diagnostics, Parental Controls, Parking Systems, Pre-crash Safety, Rear-view Camera, Regenerative Braking, Remote Keyless Entry, Security Systems, Tire Pressure Monitoring, Traction Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Transmission Control, Windshield Wiper Control Cockpit Controller, Safety Controller, ADAS/AD Controller, Body Contoller, Chassis Controller

Items above (left) sourced from Clemson University Vehicular Electronics Laboratory.

Higher complexity, cheaper, lighter

Adding to the benefits from increasing automobile electronics features and functionality will be vehicles that cost less and weigh less because Ethernet will also play a consolidation role for autos by bundling, or at perhaps tying together, Ethernet technology as the backbone to tomorrow’s future automobile.

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As automobile electronics become more complex, and associated features and capabilities from these electronics become more sophisticated, there will be a marriage of driver cabin and consumer electronics, as the push toward partial autonomous (to eventual full, auto-pilot autonomous) transforms the driving experience.

Automobile software trend importance

As 2025 approaches, and 5G technology telematics becomes more pervasive in the automotive electronics services marketplace for both hybrid and electric vehicle development, vehicle reliance on software (and frequent updates) tied to enhanced capabilities to handle more data volume, at increasing speeds, and with less latency, will further enhance driving experience. Outline in red below.

There is no bigger technology challenge than creating autonomous vehicles as the car as we know it today changes from a mechanical platform to a computational platform, according to investment bank Cowan and Company.

5G PCB supplier, OEM, EMS challenges in automotive and other markets

Based on what we are seeing at Venture Outsource, with an increasing number of automotive OEM decision makers seeking qualified vendors and suppliers to help them convert their mechanical car parts to electronics components-based systems (and at at increasing rate the past few years), there is every reason to believe this trend will continue as it is aligned with other trends the automotive industry is experienceing.

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Whether its automotive electronics, or any other electronics industry market sector, OEM professionals can request a custom list of electronics contract EMS manufacturing providers matching your electronics outsourcing program requirements by clicking on the links below.

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