Intelligent transportation is emerging as a global trend and a revolutionary force in the field. Bellwether Advanced Mobility Solutions (BAMS), a subsidiary of the UK-based Bellwether Industries, is developing a new electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) transport vehicle designed for urban mobility. The aircraft is anticipated to become widely available by the year 2030.
As the consumer electronics market witnesses inertia, companies are looking to non-consumer products for growth opportunities, and among these products are automotive applications. This sector has attracted the attention of Taiwanese OEMs like Hon Hai Technology Group (Foxconn) and Pegatron, alongside ODM Quanta Computer (Quanta). It has become clear that these three companies regard the EV sector as a major growth driver.
In less than 40 years since the inception of the first self-driving car, we have witnessed significant progress and changes in the automotive industry. However, the journey toward the widespread adoption of fully autonomous driving still has its last mile to cover. While the industry focuses on commercially viable, limited advanced driver-assistance systems, the ultimate goal is to achieve truly hands-free, fully autonomous driving.
Taiwanese panel maker AU Optronics (AUO) is making a significant foray into the automotive market with innovative smart cockpit solutions featuring MicroLED display technology. The company's recent acquisition of Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH (BHTC) and its upcoming inaugural appearance at CES 2024 are key milestones in this strategic expansion.
Despite efforts to encourage local manufacturing for electric vehicle (EV) chargers through local sourcing requirements, India postponed the localization date for half of the EV charger components in the latest notification, signaling difficulties for indigenization.
Southeast Asia is rising in the global EV market, especially with more China-based carmakers entering the region. Shuji Kimura, senior transport specialist at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said collaboration between the public and private sectors is essential for ramping up the Southeast Asian EV sector.
Although the Made-in-China 2025 Plan has yet to be completely achieved, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of China recently released a new document with the title of "Guidance for Humanoid Robotics Innovation Foundation Development", aiming to establish an innovative ecosystem for humanoid robotics by 2025.
Open EV consortium MIH announced on October 26 that it will license the hardware and software platforms of Project X to commercial EV solutions provider M Mobility. MIH unveiled the concept car of Project X and secured a license partner within a short time, showing its ambition for commercialization.
Leading automotive tier-1 supplier Denso announced on October 26 that it will invest about JPY500 billion (US$3.3 billion) in scaling up the semiconductor business. The company also plans to accelerate the development of electronic platforms and over-the-air technology.
How's this for a difficult job: taking over from the founder's grandson, who led the family business to the very top of its industry, and who's still very much in the mix as paradigm-changing disruptors force the company to transform.
To assist the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain ecosystem in gaining an edge in the fiercely competitive market, the MIH Consortium, in addition to actively promoting an open platform and standardized modules, continues to introduce innovative solutions to meet market demands. During the Japan Mobility Show held on October 25, MIH unveiled its new smart mobility solutions: Project X and Project Y, which will comprehensively cover new trends in urban living, including People Mover and Goods Mover.
AU Optronics (AUO) has been actively positioning itself in the automotive market as automotive applications becoming the third largest product line at AUO, surpassing LCD monitors and reaching more than NT$10 billion (around US$309.87 million) in single-quarter revenue.
Leading Japan-based automakers will exhibit their latest technology at Tokyo's upcoming Japan Mobility Show 2023. Nissan will showcase an EV powered by its full-solid-state batteries, Toyota will demonstrate its multi-purpose concept battery EV, and Honda plans to introduce the large-sized fuel-cell truck it co-develops with Isuzu to the public.
China-based image recognition technology company SenseTime is ramping up its automotive sales as self-driving develops. The effort is critical to SenseTime because China's sluggish real-estate market has caused a revenue decrease in the company's smart city business.
South Korea-based fabless startup BOS Semiconductors announced a partnership with Canada-headquartered Tenstorrent on October 10. The two companies will co-develop system-on-chip semiconductors for automobile and car parts manufacturers.
India-based Reliance Industries showcased its swappable battery for home use and mobility as the conglomerate goes on track to build a vertically integrated green business, but India's ability to reduce its reliance on China remains to be an issue.
Taiwan-based Gogoro held an event for its Gogoro Network on October 3. Henry Chiang, general manager of Gogoro Taiwan, said the company aims to increase the penetration rate of Gogoro Network in Taiwan to 90% in 2024. It will continue efforts in virtual power plants, smart parking posts and uninterruptible power supply systems for traffic lights.
AUO Corporation announced on October 2 that it has entered into a definitive agreement under which AUO will acquire 100% equity interest in the German company Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH (BHTC) at an enterprise value of EUR600 million (US$628 million). AUO continues to implement its biaxial transformation strategy, expand applications in vertical markets, and establish the value chain ecosystem.
Qualcomm recently announced that it will be launching a computing platform for motorcycles and various other types of mobile vehicles and that it will be collaborating with several companies, including Taiwan's Gogoro.
Leading Chinese EV industry players BYD, CATL and Horizon Robotics participated in the IAA Mobility 2023 in Germany last week. Robin Zeng, CATL's founder and chairman, mentioned the sustainability of batteries and said the company already operates four zero-carbon battery plants. His remarks were viewed as a response to the European Union's new Batteries Regulation.
China-based EV company Xpeng announced that it will acquire the smart EV project of Didi Global, a local ride-hailing leader. Xpeng also said it aims to launch a new vehicle model priced around CNY150,000 (US$20,582) in 2024 under a strategic partnership with Didi.
To expand the market for electric two-wheelers abroad, Taiwanese motorcycle brand Kymco and Kymco Capital have partnered with Arun Plus, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thailand's state-owned petrol company, PTT, to establish a new joint venture. This new entity, with a capital of THB600 million (about US$17.05 million), will be responsible for building the two-wheel EV industry and supply chain in Thailand.
Applications such as electric vehicles and energy storage have gradually seen material demands. However, whether the two applications can be operated safely and effectively depends on the battery. Many industry leaders in Taiwan have been investing in those fields or cross-domain developments for many years. Among them, Taiwan startup XING Mobility has not only written a new chapter for battery cooling technology but also successfully found a new breakthrough for Taiwan manufacturers in the international market competition.