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Top Technologies Reshaping the Automotive Industry in 2023

Automotive | Apr, 2023

The automotive industry is undergoing major transformation with advancements in technology and changing consumer preferences reshaping the future of mobility. Electrification, autonomous driving, software-based services, and shared mobility are setting trends in the automotive space, resulting into smart mobility developments. In the age of digitalization and connectivity, customers are demanding more than just safe driving experience from their vehicles. Personalized in-vehicle infotainment, improved navigation, AI in dashboards, predictive maintenance, over-the-air updates are some of the features that customers look forward to in modern vehicles.

From suppliers to auto manufacturers, the entire automotive industry is challenged to develop solutions to keep pace with the changing customer demands and market opportunities. In addition to focusing on making vehicles safer and more convenient, automakers are leveraging new-age tech feature to enhance the way how one interacts with one’s car and how the vehicles interact with the one’s around. With self-driving cars becoming a reality to electric vehicles replacing conventional fuel-powered vehicles, the automotive industry is facing continuous disruption.

Here are some of the technologies revolutionizing the automotive industry in 2023.

Connected Car Technology

Like smart devices, connected cars—also called connected autonomous vehicles, integrated with connectivity technologies like Edge and the Internet of Things communicates with other devices/objects, and enables connected services, primarily through mobile networks. The connected car technology uses a multitude of sensors, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), cameras, vehicle motion sensors, ultrasonic sensors, blockchain, telematics, cloud platforms, 5G and DSRC, and more. With internet connectivity, the car can communicate with external networks and infrastructure, like electrical grids, roads, and buildings. The connected car technology enables vehicle owners to check the location of their car, lock and unlock it, preheat the car—all through their phones. Besides, vehicle connectivity can help consumer customize vehicle preferences, improve their driving experience, and better predict potential imminent failures. With the greater demand for connectivity, 5G enabled cars will become new norm in the coming years and redefine mobility.

Google has already expanded its connected car collaboration with car manufacturer Renault to boost its end-to-end digital transformation. The partnership would help the car maker to offer over-the-air software updates in their connected vehicles. Premium car manufacturer Porsche is reportedly considering integrating Google software into its vehicles, which would help drivers to access applications such as Google Maps without having to connect their cars to an Android device. Porsche already offers Apple CarPlay feature that connects iPhones to most new cars, but the company plans to further expand. BMW of North America has selected Stripe Connect as the primary payment infrastructure to power eCommerce for US customers and dealers. Stripe will facilitate US vehicle pre-orders and online purchases of extended warranties, maintenance, and digital service. As automakers are adopting eCommerce tools for customers who expect digital convenience as a part of car-ownership experience, more such partnerships could be expected in the near future.

Connected Car Technology Trends 2023

  • Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I)

Communication model, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I or v2i) enables connected cars to communicate with the parts that support a nation's roadway system. These elements include parking metres, traffic signals, lane markers, lighting, overhead RFID readers, and cameras. Data from infrastructure components can be sent to the vehicle over an ad hoc network and vice versa. V2I connection is typically wireless and bidirectional. V2I employs dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) frequencies, much like vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, to transmit data. In an intelligent transportation system (ITS), V2I sensors can gather information about the infrastructure and deliver real-time notifications to users about things like traffic jams, accidents, construction zones, and parking availability.

Similarly, traffic management supervision systems can set variable speed restrictions and modify the phase and timing (SPaT) of traffic signals to improve fuel efficiency and traffic flow. For instance, Chorus Mobility, a US based startup offers a blockchain-based peer-to-peer payment protocols to automate toll payments from connected vehicles. Another startup, Connected Wise processes smart traffic signs with visual identifiers to support V2I communication and thus improve safety of connected vehicles.

  • Smart Sensors

Sensors form a vital part of modern automobile design and play an instrumental role in making the car models safer and fuel efficient. In short, sensors enable high degree of vehicle automation that benefits both the driver and the automotive industry. To achieve the level of full controllability, cars will need to process multitude of data including speed, current, pressure, temperature, positioning, proximity detection, etc. Hence, connected vehicles incorporate a variety of sensors such as LiDAR, RADAR, etc. to monitor the outside driving conditions and power interior tasks such as driver monitoring and climate control. Automobiles of the future will have improved connectivity with V2V communication sensor technology that establishes detailed maps using light reflections and sound wave echoes. Currently, car manufacturer Ford has been experimenting with sonar technology to allow vehicles sense each other and allow better perception of nearby vehicles for the driver.

  • Full Self-Driving Cars

The widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is limited by the low detection range, lack of accuracy, and expensive costs of current autonomous driving systems. However, improvements in deep learning and smart devices are helping car manufacturers address these problems and enhance the functionality of complete self-driving systems. Thanks to LiDAR, radar, sensor fusion algorithms, and high-performance computing (HPC), autonomous cars are becoming more reliable than human drivers, even in cases of adverse weather conditions or rough terrains. Electric car manufacturing giant, Tesla offers autopilot function in their cars to provide drivers a Level 2 self-driving experience. The technology uses land tracing and adaptive cruise control in tandem, which enable drivers to enjoy a ride hands-free even through highway situations like jams, lane changes, and speed variations. Other vehicle manufacturers such as General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford, and others are catching up and introducing offerings similar to that of Tesla’s. The infrared-based sensor mounted on the steering wheel’s top analyses the eyes of the drivers and if he/she looks away from the road for too long, the automatic lane-change system gets triggered. The SuperCruise would be available in as many as 23 models of GM’s SUVs and trucks by 2023.

Thanks to the emergence of on-demand services and growing need for convenience, the demand for automotive connectivity is growing at a tremendous pace. In the coming years, the connected cars will be the new norm as buyers are continuing to realize a range of benefits that automotive connectivity offers. The wider adoption of next gen 5G in automotive industry will further advance connectivity in vehicles and they will become even more smarter and smoother to use.

According to TechSci Research report on “Connected Car Market, Global Industry By Technology Type (3G,4G,5G), By Connectivity (Embedded, Tethered, Integrated), By Communication (Vehicle To Vehicle, Vehicle to Infrastructure, Vehicle to cloud, Vehicle to Pedestrian, Vehicle to Everything), BY Service (Driving Assistance, Connected Safety, Well Being, Vehicle Management, Intersection Assistance, Emergency Braking, Others), By Region, By top 10 states Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2017- 2027F”, the global connected car market is projected to grow at a formidable rate during the forecast period. The market growth can be attributed to the rising usage of artificial intelligence technologies and introduction of sophisticated features such as voice recognition, gesture recognition, driver monitoring, virtual assistance, and Natural Language Understanding (NLU).

Advanced Driver Assistant System (ADAS) in Cars

Every year, 1.35 million people around the world lose their lives to road accidents. According to the US Department of Transpiration’s National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of all traffic accidents are caused by human negligence, of which most can be attributed to recognition errors, decision errors, performance errors, non-performance errors, and other human-related errors. Advanced driver assistant system (ADAS), which combines both active and passive safety features, can help prevent deaths and injuries by reducing the chances of vehicle accidents caused by human error. Pedestrian detection/avoidance, Automatic Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning/Correction, Traffic Sign Recognition are some of the critical safety applications of ADAS.

Besides, ADAS is emerging as a critical technology for the development of autonomous vehicles as consumer convenience and security becomes the primary selling point of new automobile models. Hence, OEMs are focusing on ADAS technologies that add value for drivers and differentiate their vehicles from others in the marketplace. By 2025, ADAS technologies are expected to be in-built in every vehicle sold across the world.

ADAS in cars can be of two types, Active ADAS and Passive ADAS. In a passive ADAS system, the computer alerts the driver about any impending dangerous circumstance through sirens, flashing lights, or vibrating the steering wheel to alert the driver. Then, the driver has to take the best decision based on the circumstances in their driving surroundings. On the contrary, active ADAS systems allow the vehicle to action for avoiding the worst-case scenarios. For instance, the Automatic emergency braking (AEB), a key feature of ADAS applies brakes without the driver’s assistance in case of an impending accident. The Active ADAS System automatically modifies the host car's speed from its pre-set speed if a slower vehicle is in its path. These automated components form the basis of cars that are partially or completely autonomous.

How does ADAS in cars work?

With the development of autonomous vehicles, cars are the cornerstone of the next wave of mobile-connected devices. Gone are the days when drivers used to be dependent on windows to understand the driving environment. The new camera-based technology is enabling driver and vehicle to react with their surroundings, accurately detect and recognize other vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs, lane lines, etc. The information captured by these cameras triggers a response by the vehicles such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, driver awake and alert monitoring, etc., which improves safety. Additionally, ADAS in cars has propulsion features like adaptive cruise control, which modifies a car's speed to keep a secure distance from the car in front. Stronger ADAS skills can control steering and propulsion in some circumstances, such as interstate driving or stop-and-go traffic, without a driver's manual input. These systems, which have some of the most complete features currently on the market, are typically referred to as Level 2+ active safety systems.

These software programmes and technological advancements are used by self-driving cars to acquire 360-degree vision, both close (within the vehicle's immediate vicinity) and far. This means that hardware designs are utilising more sophisticated process nodes to satisfy continuously raising performance goals while also lowering power and footprint requirements. While some of the ADAS vehicle safety features are already integrated into autonomous vehicles as standard parts, other manufacturers can add aftermarket elements to customize the vehicles for the operator.

Top ADAS Tech Trends 2023

Here are some of the top ADAS tech trends that you should look for:

  • Increasing Proliferation of Machine Vision

Currently, both ADAS and connected vehicles rely on machine vision to deliver precise and real-time data that ensures road safety. Machine vision for ADAS consists of mounted cameras and image sensors that provides the input in the form of digital images to the vehicle’s main computer. The main computer then send warning to the driver to either change lanes, take control of the vehicle, etc. depending on the vehicle’s level of autonomy. To keep an eye on the route and surroundings of the vehicle, machine vision employs bounding box detection and complex algorithms.

  • Advent of Sensor Fusion

Sensor fusion is the process of merging information from RADAR, LiDAR, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors to evaluate ambient conditions for detection certainty. It is impossible for each sensor to operate independently and provide all the information needed for an autonomous car to operate as safely as feasible. Therefore, automated driving systems can benefit from each sensor's strengths while balancing the overall benefits of using a range of them. Sensor fusion data is processed by autonomous cars using pre-programmed algorithms. This enables autonomous cars to make decisions and choose the appropriate course of action.

  • Enhanced Connectivity

As the number of digital data sources in automobiles continues to grow, wireless networks are becoming more and more crucial for both inside-vehicle and outside-vehicle contact. The use of wireless technologies in standard car communications protocols has increased the range and adaptability of systems like tire pressure monitoring and anti-lock brake systems. Vehicle connectivity is made possible by the Internet of Things (IoT) and other emerging technologies, which have the potential to link in-vehicle smart devices with cloud-based apps and enable the delivery of ever-more-advanced services to customers.

  • Automotive HMI Design

While traveling, driver distraction is a major problem, and automakers are developing cutting-edge technologies to reduce it. Most businesses use capacitive touch screens, buttons, and knobs in in-vehicle HMI apps, which do not provide the user with tactile feedback. This causes the driver to become distracted as they check to see if the information they are giving is accepted or not. However, advances in touchscreen have now made it possible to ensure convenient interactions without requiring drivers to move their hands from the steering wheel.

According to TechSci Research report on “ADAS Market - Global Industry Size, Share, Trends, Opportunity, and Forecast, 2017-2027, By Vehicle Type (Passenger Car, Commercial Vehicle), By Sensor Type (Radar, Ultrasonic, Camera, and Lidar), By Level Of Autonomy (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, and Level 5), By Function (Collision Avoidance, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Rear-cross Traffic Assistance, Emergency Braking, Intersection Assistance, Automatic Speed Limit, Others, & Park Assistance), By Region”, the global ADAS market is expected to grow at a formidable rate during the forecast period and reach a value of USD97.49 billion by 2027. The market growth can be attributed to the increasing focus of customers on enhancing their driving experience and safety with the inclusion of advanced technologies in their vehicles. Besides, the rising incidences of road accidents are pushing OEMs to incorporate safety features, especially in autonomous vehicles, which is expected to fuel the growth of the global ADAS market in coming years.

Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X)

V2X allow cars to share information with each other, drivers, and their surroundings using a multitude of technology such as sensors, cameras, Wi-Fi, radio frequencies, LTW, and 5G cellular technology. The promise of V2X technology is that connected cars will be able to essentially talk to pedestrians and bicyclists, traffic signals and road signs, cities and municipalities, which would make roads easier and safer to travel on. Currently, cars communicate with drivers in rudimentary ways, such as when a needle points to an orange "E" if gas is low, or an interior light remains on if you accidently leave a door open. Enhanced communication through V2X communication model will give autonomous vehicles enhanced situational awareness, resulting in better navigational performance, and improved general road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that even adopting only two V2X safety features, such as LiDAR and radio communication between cars can prevent half a million crasher per year.

With V2X, vehicles will be able to gather information on traffic congestion, stop signs, and speed limits. The vehicle can then use this information to translate a path that maximises fuel economy and eliminates pointless stops. When it comes to electric vehicles, V2X communicates with infrastructure to inform drivers where the closest charging stations are. Thus, the V2X technology will help save both time and fuel. A Colombian startup, HIRSHI has created a V2X technology leveraging cameras and artificial intelligence. The startup installs cameras on the road within the gap of 200 meters and retrieves the video data, process the data through artificial intelligence, and then send it to the vehicle for decision-making. This way, the technology helps the driver of the connected vehicle to receive real-time and accurate road-traffic information.

Cellular Vehicle to Everything (Cv2x) Technology

The deployment of high-speed networks, growing need for connectivity and IoT innovations have led to the introduction of cellular vehicle-to-everything or cv2x technologies. The next generation of connected vehicles will feature better 5G vehicle-to-vehicle communication that would help drivers avoid typical accidents around areas with stop signs, traffic lights, and intersections. Deploying 5G networks, fully autonomous vehicles can become a reality. Besides enhancing automation in driverless cars, Cv2x improves the information drivers have at their fingertips when it comes to visibility and navigation. Although Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) and Cooperative Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) helped facilitate device-to-device communication, C-V2X offers improved functionality. 5G in automotive industry is expected to bring major disruption when it comes to enhancing autonomy and improving safety. Here are some of the applications of C-V2X technology.

  • Automated Toll Collection

When a connected car uses a toll lane on the highway or approaches a toll bridge, it can interact with the infrastructure of the road directly using short-range radio transmissions to automate billing or even real transactions. The connected vehicle can communicate with sensors when they're close enough to the vehicle in order to process transactions rather than depending on cameras to take pictures of licence plates or human toll booth attendants to process payments. Even "smart contracts" can be used in backend technology like blockchain IoT to authorise payments. This not only lowers toll system operating costs, but also guarantees that the toll infrastructure won't impede or delay traffic, and customers won't have to stress about waiting for a bill in the mail.

  • Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC)

While Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) alone can adjust speed based on the distance between vehicles using cameras, radar, and LiDAR, CACC also incorporates information from the moving vehicles. When a car with CACC capabilities brakes or accelerates, it can change the cruise control speed to respond, making the feedback loop safer and more secure.

  • Emergency Vehicle Prioritization

With CV2X technology, emergency responders can travel more quickly and securely. To guarantee that first responders have priority along the full route, emergency vehicles can use C-V2X to autonomously communicate with traffic systems. These vehicles can also connect to cellular networks to track traffic jams in real time and avoid taking routes that might appear to be the quickest at the moment. Through the use of standardised onboard warning systems when a nearby vehicle is actively reacting to an emergency, C-V2X can also make it simpler for drivers to recognise when emergency vehicles are close by and need to pass.

Over the last few years, Audi has been testing new cellular vehicle-to-everything technology to provide convenience and improved safety with the likes of school buses and emergency vehicles. This novel technology uses bi-directional communication to alert drivers to stopped vehicles around bends as well as alert school bus drivers to cars speeding towards their location. This gives the drivers option to keep the door shut until the vehicle passes by or comes to stop. Moreover, the adjacent car will receive information from the school bus or emergency vehicle at the same time to notify its driver visually and audibly. In near future, Audi and Navistar intend to try vehicles equipped with this particular C-V2X feature on actual roads.

According to TechSci Research report on “Global V2X in Automotive Market By Communication Type (V2C, V2G, V2P, V2I, V2V, V2D), By Connectivity Type (DSRC Connectivity and Cellular Connectivity), By Offering Type (Hardware and Software), By Technology Type (Emergency Vehicle Notification, Automated Driver Assistance, Passenger Information System, Line of Sight and Others), By Propulsion Type (ICE Vehicles and Electric Vehicles), By Region, Competition Forecast & Opportunities, 2026”, the global V2X market is projected to grow at a significant rate during the forecast period. The market growth can be attributed to the ongoing development and commercialization of cellular technologies and related infrastructure and growing need to adapt technologies to improve road safety, traffic competence, and driving.

Smart Tires

Tire manufacturers are responding to the technological advancements by introducing technologies in tires, which provide critical information while withstanding a wide variety of road conditions. Tires incorporated with sensors, also known as smart tires, have capabilities such as tire pressure monitoring, load and wear detection, self-inflation, traction analysis, maintenance alerts, etc. AI-powered smart tires could change the way ride-sharing drivers, delivery services, and consumers relate to transportation.

With treadwear sensors, smart tires can detect potential flats, which can prevent increased rates of tire wear and speed rating. Besides, real-time monitoring of the tires could allow drivers to be proactive about tire maintenance, which can reduce the number of accidents that happen due to tire related accidents. For instance, an increase in the inside temperature may indicate tire damage, which might cause potentially dangerous situation the road. According to data by the National Transportation Safety Board, tire failures are responsible for around 33,000 accidents per year.

Not only drivers but the tire manufacturers can also benefit from the data collected through sensors. The collected data can be helpful in detecting driving behaviour and where drivers choose to go. Using this information, tire makers can create improved technology and further expand their business model beyond buyer-seller connection. Besides, tire makers can sell this retrieved data to various agencies and partners for various purposes, including road conditions, driving habits, congestions, etc., which can result into improved driving.

Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS): The Future of Smart Tires

From long-haul trucks to passenger cars like SUVs or motorhomes, a tire pressure monitoring system uses sensor to monitor the air pressure inside individual tires. Through a gauge, pictogram display, or low-pressure warning light, a TPMS provides the driver of the vehicle with real-time tire-pressure information. Some tire pressure monitoring systems can even send drivers an email or text warning on their behalf. The system can alert the motorist to inflate a tire to the appropriate pressure by signalling an over or under-inflated tire. Some TPMS can also detect if the temperature of the tire is out of the range and hence can detect a leak or cross axle fault.

Generally, there are two kinds of tire pressure monitoring systems, Indirect TPMS and Direct TPMS. Indirect TPMS measures air pressure through software-based systems rather than physical sensors. Software utilizes existing vehicle sensors such as wheel speed sensors or accelerometers to monitor air pressure via antilock braking system. On the contrary, direct TPMS measures tire pressure through sensors located in each tire, which transfers pressure information to the central control unit. The unit then reports the pressure and temperature of each tire to the vehicle’s information system.

Sensata Technologies has developed a new Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tire pressure monitoring systems for automotive OEMs to improve vehicle safety, performance, and driving experience. The new technology utilizes ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio and BLE radio to facilitate bi-directional communication, which enables cybersecurity authentication. The Over-the-air updates would enhance the driving experience and eliminate the need for visiting a shop for service. Some of the other advantages of the Sensata’s TPMS are more accurate ADAS performance, simplified tire warranty tracking, and better vehicle handling. The interest in TPMS is one the rise as the demand for connected, electrified, and autonomous vehicles continues to grow.

Smart Tires Enabled with RFID Technology

OEMs for the automotive industry demand that particular tires be mounted on each vehicle during manufacturing. OEMs are pressuring tire manufacturers to share an increasing amount of manufacturing and quality data for each individual tire in order to improve safety, quality, performance, and warranty requirements. This is made feasible by RFID tags and labels. A roll of RFID bead labels, each uniquely coded, printed, and attached to the group of tires that will be manufactured by the particular machine, is located on the individual building machine. The green tire's inner liner or the bead region will receive the RFID barcode bead label application. From this point on, each stage of the process, including the use of molds, bladders, and presses, can be automatically connected to the specific tire. The RFID barcode bead can still be read at a distance of about 4 to 5 metres when using an RFID handheld scanner or portal after vulcanization. The tire will be palatized and connected to the pallet's RFID identifier during quality control.

A new generation of cars can record each individual installed tire in the ECU thanks to the same RFID tags that were vulcanised in tires. The RFID data from the tires is saved in the TPMS sensor memory of the corresponding wheels using an industry-standard ISO procedure. This stage may take place before the wheel is attached to a finished vehicle or during the mounting of the tyre on the wheel.

Bridgestone Americas is making significant investment to expand their plant for manufacturing intelligent tires of the trucking industry. The manufacturer has announced a significant investment of USD500 million for accelerate the use of advanced technologies that support cleaner, safer, and efficient commercial trucks and bus fleets. The new facility will be equipped with RFID tags, which will support advanced, data-driven insights for better fleet management. In 2021, Bridgestone collaborated with Kodiak to integrate smart-sensing tire technologies into self-driving trucks.

According to TechSci Research report on “Smart Tire Market - Global Industry Size, Share, Trends, Opportunity, and Forecast, 2018-2030F Segmented By Product Type (Connected Tire, Intelligent Tire/TPMS), By Sensor Type (TPMS, Accelerometer Sensor, Strain Gauge Sensor, RFID Chip, and Other Sensors), By Technology (Pneumatic Tire, Run-Flat Tire, Non-Pneumatic Tire), By Vehicle Type (Passenger Cars and Commercial Vehicles), By Vehicle Propulsion (Conventional Vehicles and Electric Vehicles), By Distribution Channel (OEMs and Aftermarket), and By Region”, the global smart tire market is anticipated to grow at a robust rate during the forecast period. The market growth can be attributed to the greater utilization of sensor technology for adaptability to various situations, which eliminates the need for seasonal tire changes.

Way Ahead

As automakers continue to adopt cutting-edge technology and tech behemoths like Google and Amazon expand their automotive businesses, drivers can expect to witness more electrified vehicles and autonomous features in new car models in the coming years. The automotive industry is providing opportunities for software and artificial intelligence (AI) to really come together. However, drivers may have to pay a fee for advances in cars, both financially and in terms of their privacy. Users may have noticed a rising pattern of paid subscriptions for new technologies. Additionally, the developments might lead to data privacy issues akin to those that are haunting smartphone and computer devices. The inclusion of new sensors and data-gathering technologies in vehicles has made privacy advocates more concerned than ever about how information like real-time location or biometric data is gathered and used is used by companies. Moreover, companies may encounter conventional technological regulation difficulties as they work to implement the new features.