As vehicles become highly independent and begin to drive and react to traffic on their own, autonomous systems will aggregate and process data from a variety of on-board sensors and connected infrastructure. According to ABI Research, this will force the industry to hit a hard reset on advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) architectures, which are currently dominated by distributed processing and smart sensors. The research firm posits that automotive OEMs will need to adopt new platforms based on powerful, centralized processors and high-speed low latency networking. ABI Research forecasts 13 million vehicles with centralized ADAS platforms will ship in 2025.
“The distributed approach to ADAS systems will prove unsustainable as OEMs look to deliver highly automated driving around 2020,” said James Hodgson, industry analyst at ABI Research. “The new centralized ADAS architectures will unify sensing, processing and actuation to deliver integrated decision-making for smooth path planning and effective collision avoidance.”
ABI says this transition will present major opportunities for vendors new to the industry, as well as old incumbents, including NVIDIA, NXP and Mobileye, which all announced centralized autonomous driving platforms. While each is in a different stage of development, all have common themes emerging, particularly in relation to processing power.
Physical separation of numerous dumb sensors and centralized processing also will open up opportunities for in-vehicle networking vendors. Ethernet-based solutions from vendors such as Marvell Semiconductor and Valens Semiconductor are well-positioned to meet the needs of high bandwidth and stringent automotive-grade requirements at a low-cost, says the research firm.
“We are fast-approaching the end of what can be achieved in automation within the confines of legacy architectures,” said Hodgson. “While there are not yet any specific standards for centralized ADAS, it is interesting that three separate Tier 2s announced very similar platforms in quick succession. Vendors across the ecosystem need to take this time to plan accordingly in order to appropriately manage the industry transition toward centralized ADAS architectures.”
These findings are from ABI Research’s ADAS Vehicle Architectures—Smart Sensors versus Centralized Platforms. This report is part of the company’s Automotive, Smart Mobility & Transportation sector, which includes research, data and analyst insights.