As per latest market research studies, the global Automotive Electronics Control Unit Market is projected to reach USD 53.91 billion by 2024 growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2016 to 2024. This industry stood at USD 35.1 billion in 2016.
Electric vehicle applications alongside the growing popularity of infotainment systems will fuel this industry. The global demand is also propelled by the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. The demand for electric vehicles can be attributed to enhanced focus towards energy efficiency of automobiles. Greater ecological concerns, with an emphasis on green technologies play a pivotal role in this market. Eco-driver assist systems as a part of green technology will also gain popularity in several drive-assist products. This in turn will determine the demand in the automotive ECU industry.
Eco-friendly systems such as the driver-assist system reduce dependency on conventional sources of energy. Moreover, these also help in bringing down CO2 emissions in the long haul. These aforementioned factors cumulatively benefit the industry on the whole. Greater R&D expenditure for cost reduction of ECUs will further drive the demand. Strict government regulatory measures over advanced safety features because of cost-effective ECU development will have a positive impact. Ongoing developments in ECU technology are aimed towards the production of sophisticated devices. The demand for in-car infotainment systems is expected to drive this market during the forecast period.
Despite the growth potential in this industry, surging complexities will hinder the players in this market. These complexities are attributed to enhanced functionalities that control various communication options. Complexities mainly pertain to tolerance stackup and software & hardware. Furthermore, Tier 1 suppliers face the problem of having to prioritize between developing hardware architectures and software. Tier 2 and 3 suppliers manufacture and design hardware and software solutions. These solutions are then outsourced by the Tier 1 suppliers. Inflexibility in re-design in the course of development increases the complexities of MCUs for each ECU.
The global automotive ECU industry is segmented on the basis of application and geography. Based on applications, this industry is divided into powertrain, chassis electronics, safety & security, entertainment, and communication & navigation. Highest revenue is generated by the safety & security segment. It will further drive the market in the years to come. Examples of safety systems are tire pressure monitoring systems, pre-crash safety systems, anti-theft systems, keyless entry systems, and airbags. Such systems protect consumers from risky situations and vehicles from thefts.
Suspension systems protect the passengers and vehicles from the bumps that are present on roads. Air bags protect the chests and faces of passengers and drivers. After receiving information from high-G accelerometers, airbags relay the appropriate information to their inflators.
There are climate control systems also that aid in maintaining the desired level of temperature in the cabin. These can either heat or cool the vehicle cabin. This system also uses a set of sensors that detect the degree of solar radiation, humidity, air temperature, and the ambient air temperature in the vehicle cabin.
The communication & navigation segment is expected to record the fastest growth during the forecast period. Connected navigation systems and telematics systems call for a lot of embedded software. Embedded software is needed for the management of services such as website access, communication management, and improved HMI technologies.
The chassis electronics segment is anticipated to reach USD 11.62 billion by 2024 from USD 8.03 billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2016 to 2024. The growing need for convenience and comfort in automobiles will fuel this segment in the forthcoming years.
Geographically, the global automotive ECU market is segmented into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World. The Asia Pacific market is projected to expand rapidly during the forecast period. The robust demand can be attributed to enhanced manufacturing activities and popularity of in-car safety installations. Japan and China will fuel the growth of this industry. Most electric cars in this region are equipped with safety installations as per the China V standards, meant for light vehicles. The China market is characterized by mandates that fuel the demand for safety systems. For example, the NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) in China has strictly implemented the AEB (Automatic Emergency Braking) and the LDW (Lane Departure Warning) technologies.
The North America market for automotive ECUs is chiefly driven by the latest warning system mandates for onboard diagnostic systems. These systems assist the vehicle owners to keep a check on emission levels. Demand variations in this industry are due to the diminished adoption of newer technologies. The U.S. is offering vehicles to several government bodies as an initiative for setting up a charging network for electric vehicles.
Europe holds a prominent position in the global market because it is a manufacturing leader in the global market for luxury cars. Europe is also equipped with the latest technology capital that will help this region to retain its strong position in the global automotives industry. Thus, it is anticipated that this region will hold a major share in the global industry in the forthcoming years.
Key companies in the global automotive ECU market are Autoliv, Bosch, Denso, Continental AG, and TRW Automotive. The suppliers of semiconductors include ST Micro, Infineon, NXP, and Renesas. The prominent market participants mostly engage in business partnerships for increasing their worldwide reach. Continental AG is the industry leader followed by Denso and Bosch. Continental AG boasts of a strong and large customer base because of application expertise, focus on innovation, in-depth industry knowledge, and an array of quality products.
ConnectedDrive offered by BMW provides various apps that can be downloaded into the iDrive multimedia set up. This minimizes the need for developing new hardware and other systems. As a result, it enhances the scope of the current infotainment system. It is expected that embedded cellular link will acquire more services that will aid in upgrading and connecting the ECU software programs in automobiles. Industry players such as BMW lay a lot of emphasis on forging software standardizations and feature innovation. These prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Research Support Specialist, USA