Level 3 self-driving car development in the fast lane

Audi unveiled the all-new A8 luxury car in 2017 at Audi Summit, showcasing the first car to reach Level 3 autonomous drive. This is an indication that the car industry is shifting gear fast towards a car revolution. Starting from this year, more automakers will be making big moves to advance their autonomous car efforts. Keeping pace with same momentum, the much anticipated Level 5 autonomous car will hit the road in 2025, according to predictions by industry observers.

During the past few years, the development of autonomous driving technology has been in the fast lane. Topics such as lithium battery for the electrical vehicles, ADAS and Internet of Vehicles (IoV) are getting most attention from the public.

Digitimes, at the AIoT Ecosystem Forum it held during Computex 2018, devoted a session to the discussion of the trends and opprtunities concerning self-driving cars on June 7: "Car Tech and AIoT, Driving Innovation," with keynote speakers coming from global leading companies of semiconductor and electronics industries

While technological development continues, the upcoming business model of autonomous vehicles or robo-taxis (or shared self-driving taxis) is expected to give a big boost to sharing economy.

Automotive innovations have increasingly been enabled by semiconductor-based solutions. Around 80% of the core automotive innovation comes from semiconductors, according to an estimation from one of the major automakers. And Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is paving the way towards full autonomous driving. In addition, other applications such as those related to comfort and convenience, infotainment and wireless data connectivity are driving semiconductor use in the automotive sector.

At the forum, ARM talked about the scope of silicon architecture for future autonomous car development based on ARM core IP. The automotive industrial standards like functional safety of ISO 26262 and cyber security are inevitable topics in auto space and need to be addressed in the chipset level from the beginning stage of IC design.

Dialog Semiconductor talked about the solution of Haptics on touch screen. This semiconductor solution, combining with different types of hardware such as linear resonant actuators, makes use of vibration feedback to simulate button clicking more interactively and optimize user experience while more and more flat panels and touch screen technologies are installed onboard the vehicle. This ultra-low power consumption of Dialog's haptics driver IC makes it easy to implement engineering design compared with existing competitors.

The automotive market will see the adoption of high capacity memory led by emerging trend of autonomous driving and in-vehicle infotainment. Silicon Motion leverages its leading technology and strong customization capability in NAND flash memory controller along with multi-chip package solution to introduce Ferri solutions (single-chip storage solutions), including Ferri-eMMC and Ferri-UFS, to the automotive market. For automotive non-volatile memory sectors, the company relies on quality products and flexible engineering design capability for customized specifications.

New self-driving technologies and the increasing number of functions within motor vehicles mean that automotive manufacturers have to develop more and more safety systems. TUV Nord talked about the automotive safety standards covering ISO 26262 and ASPICE. For cyber security considerations, the standards of IEC 62443-X and SOTIF ISO PAS 21448 were also discussed to highlight the new challenges of the industries.

Texas Instrument (TI) showed its new development of millimeter wave radar CMOS IC solutions. TI's offerings are boosting miniature radar products suited for automotive market. The millimeter-wave SMT packages for automotive radar sensors could be reduced further to 3X3 centimeters of PCB board size. It pushes the limits to fulfil the requirements of new Level-3 self-driving cars.

Level 3 self-driving cars will be on the road in 2020. And the 2019 Audi A8 might be the first Level 3 vehicle available on the market.

While more and more electronics are featured inside the vehicles, the opportunity of automotive industry shows big potential, though the entry barriers may be high.

Digitimes Car Tech and AIoT Technology Forum exploreing the advancement of self-driving technology

Digitimes Car Tech and AIoT Technology Forum
Photo: Digitimes staff

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