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What new changes does the development of automotive intelligence bring to connectors?

What new changes does the development of automotive intelligence bring to connectors?

Blog | Mar 09,2024

Driven by the market and policies, automobile intelligence is developing rapidly. As one of the largest connector markets, what new changes will the automotive market, whose intelligence process continues to accelerate, bring to the connector industry?

The first half of the automobile “electrification” revolution is being staged fiercely, and the second half of the “intelligent” revolution has also quietly sounded.

The new energy vehicle market has developed strongly in recent years, and car companies have begun to “roll” towards intelligent network development. In early August, Musk announced on social platforms that Tesla is expected to achieve full autonomous driving by the end of the year, that is, L4 and L5 level autonomous driving.

Immediately afterwards, Toyota also announced that it would establish a joint venture with Chinese emerging company Pony AI to enter the field of self-driving taxis, to realize the practical use of self-driving taxis as early as 2024.

As my country’s automobile intelligence enters a new stage of development, favourable policies have also been introduced.

Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Standardization Committee jointly revised and issued the “Guidelines for the Construction of the National Internet of Vehicles Industry Standard System (Intelligent Connected Vehicles) (2023 Edition)” (hereinafter referred to as the “Guidelines”), which aims to combine the development status of my country’s intelligent connected automobiles.

Set up a technical logic framework of “two horizontal and three vertical” and build an intelligent and connected vehicle standard system including intelligent connected vehicle foundation, technology, products, test standards, etc.

As the “blood vessel” of the automobile assembly system, the connector plays an important role in connection and transmission. A traditional fuel vehicle requires hundreds to thousands of connectors; electric vehicles require even more connectors due to the addition of battery devices.

As one of the important markets in the connector industry, driven by new standards, the rapidly developing smart car market will usher in a new round of changes, which will undoubtedly bring new trends to connector companies.

Current status of automotive intelligence development: L2 is popularized, but L2+ still needs to leapfrog

The development of automobile intelligence is mainly divided into two aspects: “autonomous driving” and “Internet of Vehicles”. The development of autonomous driving can be divided into six stages: L0, L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5, of which L5 is fully autonomous. driving, and the Internet of Vehicles is mainly the development of “Ethernet”.

The development of autonomous driving and the Internet of Vehicles are closely related and closely connected. Whether they can move beyond L2 to L3, L4 or even L5 will be a watershed in the development of automobile intelligence.

At present, my country’s automobile intelligence is still at the stage of popularizing the application of L2-assisted driving and piloting and promoting L3 and L4-level autonomous driving.

According to data from the Gaogong Intelligent Automotive Research Institute, the number of domestic new cars equipped with forward ADAS (Advanced Driving Assistance System) will be insured for the whole year of 2021. It is 8.0789 million, a year-on-year increase of 29.51% – of which the number of new cars equipped with L2 ADAS is 395.62. million vehicles, an increase of 77.65% year-on-year. At the same time, the annual insurance volume of new L2+ ADAS vehicles has also shown a rapid increase.

New changes in connectors

New changes in connectors: Thinness, thinness and reliability are key

Perception, decision-making, and control are the three development aspects that are the core of the intelligent operation of automobiles. The path to achieving this is to detect data by the sensor system, then use algorithm technology to make decisions on the sensed information, and finally issue instructions through the control system to complete the control of the entire vehicle. control actions.

In the process from perception to control, ultrasonic radar, millimetre wave radar, cameras, GPS and other devices need to be connected, which requires relying on RF connectors and Ethernet connectors in high-speed connectors.

RF connectors mainly include Fakra connectors, Mini-Fakra connectors HSD connectors, etc., which are mainly used for the transmission of RF signals, GPS, vehicle Internet access, etc.; Ethernet connectors mainly help the electronic control units in the car communicate. transmission.

The stability and reliability of signal transmission have a direct impact on the operation of automobile intelligent systems. It can be seen that with the advancement of automobile intelligence, such as RF coaxial connectors, Mini-Fakra, floating board-to-board, and smart cockpits The development space of automotive signal end connectors such as connectors and SPE connectors is promising in the future.

With the integrated development of automation functions, sensing and decision-making functions, etc., the demand for data transmission will continue to increase, placing new requirements on the transmission frequency of RF connectors and the stability of Ethernet connector transmission.

Under the condition that the transmission rate is greatly increased, whether high-speed connectors can have higher reliability and whether they can be immune to electromagnetic influence in an all-electric high-power environment.

Also in the development of intelligent automobiles, can connector manufacturers The key is to break through the “stuck” problem and seize the opportunity.

The development of automobile intelligence means that complex intelligent hardware systems must be installed in a limited vehicle space to achieve more stable perception, decision-making, and control effects. This requires that connectors develop towards thinner, lighter and smaller sizes, while high-speed connectors that were originally large and had low transmission rates may withdraw from the market. This will also be a new round of survival of the fittest.

Just like compared with the Fakra connector, the Mini-Fakra connector has gradually occupied the market with its advantages of high transmission frequency, small size and high integration. As the number of smart car chip applications gradually increases, Ethernet connectors are also expected to replace the new differential connectors in HSD connectors.

New Trend in Connectors

New Trend in Connectors: Domestic Alternative Welcome Machines

The development of smart cars has entered the deep water zone. The country has introduced favourable policies such as the integrated development of “car energy, road and cloud”. Domestic car companies have “jumped on the news” and are planning to move towards new tracks.

In June, Li Auto officially announced that urban NOA (autonomous navigation-assisted driving) will be open for internal testing in Beijing and Shanghai, and the commuting NOA function will be opened within half a year; Xpeng Motors also announced not long ago that urban NGP (intelligent navigation Assisted driving) function has been officially opened in Beijing. At the same time, Cyrus and Avita also announced plans to launch city-level intelligent assisted driving functions.

The rise of terminal manufacturers indicates the strong momentum of my country’s automobile industry in the second half of the intelligence revolution, and indicates that Chinese automobile brands will gradually increase their voice in the second half of the track. On the fast track of smart car development, if connector companies can quickly deploy and implement industrial and technological changes, they can still create a vast world.

The rise of China’s intelligent automobile manufacturing will surely bring new opportunities for domestic substitution in the connector industry.

How to maintain

Current status of connector layout: AVIC Optoelectronics was the first to lay out electrical connection technology with remarkable results

My country’s automotive connectors started late, the market is relatively fragmented, and there is still a large gap compared with large international companies. At present, the core technology of mainstream automotive high-speed connectors is still in the hands of foreign companies.

The top global automotive high-speed connector manufacturers are mainly Japanese and American companies, including Rosenberg, Tyco, Amphenol, JAE, etc. However, domestic automotive connector manufacturers have also been catching up in recent years and achieved considerable results.

In terms of automotive high-speed connectors, the representative ones include AVIC Optoelectronics, Electrical Connection Technology, Yihua Technology, etc.

AVIC Optoelectronics is the earliest connector company involved in the field of new energy vehicles in my country. It covers the main models of domestic mainstream car companies and is committed to realizing the nationalization of vehicle-mounted high-speed connectors.

Yihua Technology also has many years of research and development experience in vehicle-mounted high-speed connectors. The vehicle-mounted high-speed connectors currently developed can meet the requirements for signal transmission of up to 12Gbps ports and are suitable for the needs of L3 electric vehicles.

Electrical Connection Technology is a leading company in micro RF connectors and has reached the same technical level as the world’s first-class connector manufacturers.

The rapid development of automobile intelligence and connectivity is spurring new changes in the connector industry. In the fast lane of automobile intelligence, which connector manufacturers can stand out in the fierce competition and achieve overtaking in corners? We will wait and see.

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