The preliminary days of the mobility industry had a very limited role for Automotive Electronics (AE) that warranted communication and exchanging signals between sub-systems and components to cater to the basic functionalities of a vehicle traversing between locations. Today’s mobility is a different paradigm that requires AE to simultaneously manage multiple fronts – customers in different regions of the world, onslaught of data and its management, infrastructure – charging, communication, software, inherent smart electronics development and governmental policies.
AE has brought in a pleasant change through the elusive energy management equilibrium across the mobility industry. It has helped manage the paradoxes of mobility – stringent tail-pipe emissions, fun to drive, sustainability, safety – active & passive, higher quality, styling, reliability & robustness, cabin & ride comfort, and of course resource efficiency. AE has a major role in adapting these attributes in vehicle platforms so as to keep pace with changing customer expectations and regulatory norms. The resources required in developing, integrating and implementing market facing affordable solutions through software, hardware and networks, is only in the realm of AE.
AE integrates a complex menu of functions in vehicles along with the newly-developing infrastructure and customer needs. It has changed vehicle platforms, their end-to-end lifecycles, the processes and pathways that achieve low carbon footprint, has majorly enabled the onset of XEVs, vehicle co-sharing models and the most recent, autonomous driving. Through AE and other enablers, the mobility industry is intelligently using standardisation as a means to manage these increasing vehicle complexities.
Change management has been possible through consolidation of functions and software. The change can further be attributed to material innovations in the semiconductor industry value chain that are able to deliver more for less and downsize physically to drive compactness. Material innovations are able to provide robustness in different operating environments, better thermal management, processing response times and embed software and layered functionality to limit multiple physical screens. The veracity to maintain multiple versions of hardware due to changing software and communication protocols, without fearing obsolescence, has naturally increased the penetration of AE in different value segments of the mobility industry.
Growth of XEVs, the changing face of energy and vehicles in the last two decades, was possible through AE and software, besides other enablers. The ability to handle complexities between the traction motor, controllers, software inside and outside vehicles, was at stake to be able to deploy XEVs. The traction motor technologies, whether PM or SR or another type, were in nascent stages then, and have been able to deliver higher power for instantaneous and continuous periods now due to advancement in AE. The ability to integrate communication protocols through features and displays has, again, been possible through AE.
Charging infrastructure development and deployment, and the ability to exchange data at high speeds could be possible due to enablers such as IoT. This, in turn, was possible due to evolution in AE. The dynamism and options in development of infrastructure have been incredibly fast due to the deployment of smart cities. Driving these infrastructure requirements that interface with multiple stakeholders not only needs data management, protocols development, and stakeholder management, it needs excellent AE.
NEWEST CONCEPT & FUTURE
ADAS, the newest concept, has added additional dimensions to mobility. The vehicle has to interface with remote platforms, control stations, sensing systems that were never deployed on public roads for city managers, and real time tracking for occupant and road safety while being transported. To enable successful research and deployment, big data management and block chain techniques will bring in needs that will stretch the limits of AE.
Automotive electronics and its lifecycle have evolved and grown the fastest among all mobility systems, thus enhancing all experiences across the board.