The complexity of automotive electric and hybrid systems has increased dramatically in the last few years. Safety is one of the most vital factors in automotive development and expected to govern more and more prominence in the future. Increase in sales & production of automation and stringent government regulations toward passenger safety have boosted the need for improved automotive electronic control unit (ECU) system.
According to a research firm, Allied Market Research, the global automotive electronic control unit (ECU) market accounted for $32.05 billion in 2015 and is projected to garner $49.89 billion by 2022, registering CAGR of 6.6% through 2022. As per Allied, the market has witnessed the rapid growth owing to high demand for automotive, increase in development of low-cost ECU, rise in demand for advanced features in vehicles, and surge in strategic partnerships and collaboration of market players. Moreover, the launch of new technologies have propelled the growth of the market in the last few years.
Launch of novel ECU systems:
Bosch recently introduced four new automotive system-ICs. The company launched four ICs including IC CG912, IC CJ138, IC CG270, and IC CG135. Among them, the IC CG912 is designed to initiate up to four pyro fuses to reduce the risk of electrical shocks in the event of accidents. The fuses are attached in the battery wiring to prevent electrical shocks when coming in contact with vehicle’s chassis. The IC CG270 can operate up to 10 hydraulics valves in automatic transmissions and offer additional room for more control units for recent multi-stage transmission.
On the other hand, Bosch’s oxygen sensor evaluation IC CJ138 provides several possibilities for engaging an engine control unit to a wide range of oxygen sensors and sensor cable diagnostic, especially for short circuit or interruption. The IC CG135 is a transmission IC that regulates the supply voltages in a transmission control unit and prevents transmission from being impaired in the event of an accident.
Kia had recently declared to launch diesel 48V mild-hybrid powertrain as a part of its wider electrification strategy. Kia is the first manufacturer that offers a hybrid, battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, and 48volt technology and the company has announced that it will launch 16 advanced powertrain vehicles by the end of 2025. The powertrain is expected to deliver high efficiency from internal combustion engines on the road. The system is controlled by an advanced ECU that calculates the most optimum use of energy and adjusts accordingly considering the remaining the amount of battery in the vehicle. The automatic ECU is designed such a way that if the battery has adequate charge, the combustion engine would turn off on its own during in-gear deceleration and braking.
Advent of startups in advanced ECU industry
American electric vehicle startup, Rivian Automotive, has spent more than nine years in silence to develop futuristic vehicles that offer mobility, electrification, autonomy as well as subscription-based ownership. Recently, the company unveiled its two best products including all-electric pickup truck and SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The company has been working on the products for nine years in stealth mode and now it has entered in the market of automotive ECU with novel products, named the R1T and R1S that customers wouldn’t afford to ignore.
Both R1T and R15 have one-of-its-kind quad-motor setup that allows ECU to deliver 147 kilowatts of power per wheel. Moreover, both vehicles have a hardware suite, which includes cameras and sensors that give them autonomous capabilities on highways.
Scaringe SM, the company’s CEO, stated, “We wanted to build out a tough and robust team that can handle the process, line up key suppliers, get capital in place, and acquire large-scale production facility, which we have accomplished now.” He added that the company’s employees gave our blood, sweat, and tear for years to gain the position where it stands today.
Such addition of smart and advanced ECUs in the market have help companies to develop unique vehicles that are safer and more reliable. Moreover, such advanced ECUs are gaining more and more traction in the designing of driverless and autonomous vehicles, which has amplified its importance in the overall automobile industry.