The connected autonomous EV is ultimately expected to form an intrinsic part of the Internet of Things (IoT). As analysts at ABI Research note, such vehicles will rely on (and contribute) to the emergence of intelligent road infrastructure including wireless charging, smart grids, digital homes and remote healthcare – all while realizing the promise of safe, convenient, efficient, affordable and sustainable transportation.
According to ABI, the number of full electric vehicles (EV) shipping yearly will increase from 150,000 in 2013 to 2.36 million in 2020 – representing a CAGR of 48%. Asia-Pacific will exhibit the strongest growth, driven by mounting pollution issues in its many megacities; however, true mass-market uptake is projected to kick off in earnest during the next decade.
“With many car OEMs recently dropping prices and offering more choice and improved performance, full electric vehicles are on the verge of leaving their eco niche of environmentally aware and socially responsible buyers, illustrated by car OEMs such as BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen investing heavily in electrification,” commented ABI VP and practice director, Dominique Bonte.
“Importantly, a range of emerging automotive technologies such as carbon-fiber materials, wireless in-car networking technologies, active safety including pedestrian detection and autonomous driving, connectivity, car sharing, and smart grid demand response features will support the electric automotive revolution as all new paradigms are mutually reinforcing each other.”
However, Bonte emphasized that the role of governments in supporting EVs via tax rebates and subsidies, stimulating the roll out of public charging infrastructure, exempting EVs from toll in congestion zones, allowing EVs on High Occupancy lanes, providing free parking and mandating very aggressive emission standards will remain critical during the remainder of the current decade.
As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, there are quite a number of of opportunities on the automotive horizon for MCU makers like Atmel.
“The Internet of Things is going to be a huge boon for companies like us that make both microcontrollers and radio chips,” Atmel’s Paul Rako explained in a Bits & Pieces blog post published earlier this year.
“[Recently], I read that you can consider an automobile just another ‘thing’ in the IoT, [with the] American National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) encouraging manufacturers to design cars that communicate with each other to make them safer.”
To be sure, said Rako, European automakers are “out ahead” with the above-mentioned technology, as a consortium of Mercedes Benz/ Daimler, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Ford and Opel are already testing real world systems.
“They call it Sim TD (Safe intelligent mobility Testfield). Volkswagen and BMW independently came up with smart intersection technology back in 2011,” Rako explained. “It won’t take many instances of showing we can save the lives of innocent passengers, or children on school buses, before the public will demand car-to-X communication. An added benefit will be the fuel economy and convenience benefits. So when the auto industry is ready, Atmel will be there to enable the technology.”