Home Digital Cockpit – Players Ecosystem and Innovation Focus

Introduction

The automotive industry is going through a transition phase, where the mobility participants are forced to focus and invest in innovation and customer-centricity. Key aspects which entities across the automotive ecosystem are working towards are 1) Seamless user experience, 2) Personalization, 3) Safety, and 4) Connectivity. Digitalization in areas like the car instrument panel, dashboard, braking system, the steering system is driven by customer-centricity and enabling technologies like AI, AR, and IoT.

Exhibit 1 highlights how a combination of innovation and customer focus has led to a massive transformation in car cockpits. As a result, traditional car cockpits are in the process of transforming into fully digital cockpits.

The digital cockpit solution, which consists of hardware modules, communication interfaces, and software modules, has already made inroads in the automotive market. This article explores current developments, key players, market dynamics, and future outlook for the digital cockpit space.

Key Developments

To better contextualize developments around digital cockpits, a look at the player ecosystem actively involved in this transformation is essential. There are six key entities in the player ecosystem for cockpits: software providers, hardware providers, Tier 1 suppliers, OEMs, Technology providers, and startups (Exhibit 2).

Among these, Tier 1 suppliers play a crucial role. A comparative assessment of the innovations and the developments carried out by these integrators, Visteon, Faurecia, and Harman, are identified as some of the leading companies in the cockpit development, of which Faurecia leads the leader.

Faurecia has played a key role in the cockpit of the future, being one of this concept’s initiators. It still leads the race with 37 R&D centers worldwide, focusing on advancements related to future cockpits. The company has nearly 10,000 patents in its portfolio, where 1,283 patents were filed in 2019. The company claims that around 10% of their patents move into production.

The company has made acquisitions and partnerships to focus on in-house competence to develop future cockpits.

  • In 2020, the company completed the acquisition of SAS (a key player in complex interior module assembly and logistics) to focus on the integration of interior modules.
  • In 2019, the company acquired a majority stake in Creo Dynamics (a Swedish company specializing in active noise control solutions) to deliver optimized sound performance, as Creo Dynamics has a strong competence in automotive acoustics.
  • In 2018, the company made some strategic acquisitions – Parrot and Clarion to develop exhaustive product offerings related to future cockpits.
  • Faurecia also has partnerships with Microsoft, Aptoide (a software for installing mobile applications for the Android operating system), Devialet (a French audio technology company), and Allwinner (a semiconductor company involved in the designing of mixed-signal systems on a chip).

Below are some recent developments in the digital cockpit space, highlighting that along with tier 1 suppliers, there are partnerships, collaborations, and investments (refer Exhibit 3 and 4) across the digital cockpit player’s ecosystem trying to capture the market.

Partnerships & Collaborations

Investments

Key attributes for cockpit innovation

Increasing focus on personalization and predictive monitoring

According to experts, the cockpit of the future will be versatile, predictive, and connected. Therefore, innovations around integrating operating systems, electronics, interiors, and sustainability to provide a better user experience will be the focus. In this context, some players are already working towards developing innovative solutions (Exhibit 5).

A growing emphasis on Safety and Wellbeing

Passenger wellbeing and safety are the other focus areas, which are pushing the entities across the ecosystem to innovate and develop new solutions (Exhibit 6) for better user experience – offering improved seating experience, exploring the inclusion of a rear-collision airbag, for example.

Some recent developments in this area include the following:

Road Ahead

From a technology perspective, the future will move from integrated domain controllers to centralized computing units (refer Exhibit 7), where multi-domain controllers will consolidate the vehicle architecture making it a seamless transition of features and controls within the vehicle.

From a competition perspective, the entities in the ecosystem shown earlier will remain similar. However, FutureBridge has predicted the roles (refer Exhibit 8) each entity is going to play.

Tier 1 suppliers are expected to act as leaders considering the activities in terms of ongoing innovations and developments. OEMs will act as enablers, who will push for the future cockpit to enhance user experience. Other entities will mainly be involved in collaborations with the Tier 1 suppliers and the OEMs.

From a demand perspective, the global car cockpit electronics market shows promising growth, and FutureBridge predicts it to grow at a 6–7% CAGR during 2017–2027 (refer Exhibit 9).

The market will be driven by megatrends – connectivity, autonomy, shared mobility, electrification, and sustainability. Also, to improve user experience, attributes like personalization, versatility, safety, and wellbeing will play a key role.

References

  1. https://www.faurecia.com/en/newsroom/faurecias-assertive-patent-strategy-makes-innovation-possible
  2. https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/auto-components/harman-invests-rs-350-cr-to-expand-chakan-plant-to-hire-400-workers/69633880
  3. https://www.faurecia.com/en/newsroom/faurecia-invests-creo-dynamics-et-accelerates-its-enhanced-and-personalized-sound-experiences
  4. https://www.ces.tech/Articles/2020/September/The-AI-Powered-Cockpit-Protecting-Drivers.aspx
  5. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/06/25/2053466/0/en/Cerence-and-e-solutions-Team-to-Build-Automotive-Cockpit-of-the-Future.html
  6. https://www.automotivepurchasingandsupplychain.com/news/20043/61/Mercedes-Benz-launches-the-all-new-S-Class
  7. https://www.greencarcongress.com/2020/07/20200710-karma.html
  8. https://www.displaydaily.com/article/press-releases/visteon-debuts-infotainment-technology-in-2020-vw-nivus-crossover
  9. https://www.automotivetestingtechnologyinternational.com/news/appointments-partnerships-investments-acquisitions/cockpit-electronics-supplier-visteon-opens-technical-center-in-mexico.html
  10. https://www.financialexpress.com/auto/car-news/harman-invests-rs-350-crore-in-connected-car-technologies-plant-expansion-in-pune-to-triple-production-by-2021/1597824/
  11. https://www.autonews.com/china/bosch-launches-digital-vehicle-cockpit-rd-center-shanghai

 

 

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