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There's a lot going on in the automotive market. The three big things are electric traction, autonomous driving, and shared mobility. Cadence is holding their second annual Automotive Design Summit on July 30 in San Jose, where all aspects of automotive electronics, from AI to wireless charging, will be presented.
Those three automotive megatrends are shaking up the automotive industry. There is plenty of debate about just how fast any of these transitions are going to take place (for example, see my recent post NXP: Self-Driving Cars: What's the Payoff for Carmakers?). But nobody denies that they are the direction that things are going.
Electric traction is a major disruption because automakers' differentiation is usually in making good internal combustion engines (ICE). In fact, that goes back to the earliest days of the automobile, as I wrote about last week in The Mercedes Benz Museum and the Invention of the Automobile. China has a particularly strong push towards electric traction (that they call NEV for "new energy vehicles") since it is increasingly hard to get a license plate for an ICE car but you can get one for an NEV immediately, for free. For more on that, see my post Trends, Technologies, and Regulations in China's Auto Market.
Increasing levels of automation are another major trend, one with big implications for the semiconductor market since this requires something that has not been needed until recently: chips in advanced processes with automotive quality and reliability levels. If you think about it, the supply chain for cars has to be one of the longest and most complex ever, stretching back not just through the usual mechanical supply chain, but all the way through the very international semiconductor supply chain, which itself stretches back through materials, gases, wafer blanks, and more. Much of the Automotive Design Summit is focused on this area, since it is the most intensive for semiconductor design and its supporting design ecosystem, including Cadence, of course. I have said for some time that automotive manufacturers are going to have to design their own chips and write their own software for differentiation.
The picture below was the first self-driving taxi that I've been in, in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, they insisted I couldn't take any pictures inside the vehicle.
The third big trend playing out is shared ownership. Already, ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft, and Didi mean that many young people don't get driving licenses as soon as they can, and in cities often don't bother to own a car. If robotaxis lower the costs even further, this is likely to broaden to other people, in a similar way to how many of us don't have a landline phone at home anymore, and young people for sure never will. In addition to impacting the volume of vehicles sold in some way (fewer vehicles but they will wear out faster since they won't sit unused for 95% of the time), the dynamics of a market where a car company is selling 10,000 vehicles to Uber is very different from selling individual vehicles to individual people. Brand and image count for little or nothing since the cars are likely to be branded with Uber rather than the manufacturer. When did you ever send a taxi away because it wasn't a BMW or Lexus? There are also signs of hybrid ownership models where, for example, you buy the car but lease the battery.
Once again, the Automotive Design Summit is July 30 on the Cadence San Jose campus. The day starts with registration and breakfast from 8:30am to 9:30am.
The summit will be kicked off with Cadence's Robert Schweiger giving an overview of the market and of Cadence's solutions.
Next, Lazlo Kistonti, the CEO of AImotive, will present From Walled Gardens to Collaboration: The Shifting Landscape of Autonomous Driving.
NXP's VP of Automotive, Kamal Khouri, will talk about the Role of Machine Learning and Safety in Autonomous Vehicles. As it happens, that was one of the topics that was discussed in the post about the NXP panel that I referenced at the start of this post. The general feeling was that autonomous vehicles need to be much safer than human drivers (10X) before they will be accepted by individuals and governments.
Cadence partner Green Hills Software is up next, with their VP of bizdev Dan Mender talking about Addressing the State of Safety and Security in Today’s Autonomous Vehicles.
That takes us up to lunch, which Cadence will provide...yes, there is sometimes such a thing as a free lunch.
Back from lunch at 1:45pm, Ross Jatou, GM of ON Semiconductor's Automotive Sensing Division will be speaking.
Robert Day, who is Director of Automotive Solutions and Platforms at Arm will address The Next Big Step in Autonomy: From Prototype to Production.
Next, academia joins the summit, with Mohammed Ismail of Wayne State University talking about Recent Advances in Wireless Charging. It's one thing to charge your phone wirelessly, it doesn't need that much charge. But cars have big batteries, so the energy involved is much greater.
From 5:00pm to 6:00pm, there will be a closing remarks and networking reception, so you can let the worst of the automotive traffic disperse while drinking beer and eating appetizers. Oh, and networking. I'm pretty sure there will be some prizes raffled, but I'm pretty sure none of them will be a new self-driving car. Sorry.
More details, including a link for registration, are on the summit's webpage.
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