【DE】Autonomous driving – a mode of future mobility

Electromobility has arrived in the present and will continue to gain in importance. In the future, however, it will appear to be traveling more and more autonomously. From November 16 to 19, productronica 2021 in Munich will show what opportunities the further computerization of the automobile will open up for the electrical manufacturing industry.


The development progress around autonomous driving is still very topical, but futuristic racing cars with lounge interiors have lost their attraction in recent years. Electromobility is currently dominating the automotive scene – to be observed in all its facets at the IAA Mobility in Munich, which is held under the motto “What will move us next”? ran in September.


According to VW boss Diess, that will be autonomous driving: By 2030, 15 percent of group sales are to be earned with robot taxis and new mobility services. As the daily newspaper “Die Welt” reported, the Wolfsburg managers envision a usage-based billing: A nap in the driver’s seat could cost around seven euros an hour. Range or performance upgrades (e.g. different maximum speeds) on an hourly or daily basis can also be billed in this way.


Local public transport with autonomous vehicles

Before mobile “autonomy” finds its way into private life, it changes our mobility concepts as a line, shuttle or taxi service. For this purpose, the fully electric VW ID.Buzz bus is to drive autonomously (level 4) and go into series production as a robot taxi from 2025. Until then, the Wolfsburg-based automobile manufacturer is testing the technology in cooperation with its US partner Argo AI as part of a shuttle service to Munich Airport.


Intel subsidiaries Mobileye and Sixt want to be faster than VW. The companies are already promising self-driving ride-hailing services in Munich and Tel Aviv for next year. The level 4 modular system “Mobileye Drive”, which is aimed primarily at local transport providers, ensures “autonomy”. Fail-safety is guaranteed by two independent systems that work with either 13 cameras or 9 LiDAR (light detection and ranging) plus 6 radar sensors.


A year later, Hyundai’s self-driving Ioniq 5 (Level 4) is to carry the first passengers in selected US cities at ride-hailing provider Lyft.


In contrast, the Google sister company Waymo reached another milestone in San Francisco. Any interested passenger can use the Waymo app to apply for a free jaunt in a self-driving electric SUV of the Jaguar I-Pace type – including safety drivers. However, competitor GMs Cruise is the first manufacturer to be allowed to send its self-driving taxis through California’s streets without a driver as part of the “CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) Driverless Pilot Program”.


Autonomous vehicles

A self-driving vehicle of its own is not yet in sight: Tesla’s autopilot is more of an assistance system and satisfies level 2 automation. Other manufacturers offer concept vehicles such as the “Grandsphere Concept” presented by AUDI at this year’s IAA Mobility.


Something like that, the sedan of the future will not be available from dealers until the second half of this decade at the earliest. An ADAC / Prognos study from 2018 expects cars that will be driverless both on the motorway and in the city from 2030 onwards. From 2040 at the earliest, they are likely to be found in greater numbers on the country roads.


Productronica 2021 and “autonomous driving”

The self-driving automobile will also be important this year at the world’s leading trade fair for the development and manufacture of electronics. From an “electronic” point of view, the topic is not new, after all, driver assistance systems have been providing additional safety and comfort for many years (e.g. parking assistant).


According to the management consultancy Roland Berger, the financial outlay for electronic modules in a typical premium car with a combustion engine is now $ 3,145. For a semi-autonomous electrified car, these costs will more than double to $ 7,030 by 2025. About a quarter ($ 725) of the cost can generally be traced back to digitization. The biggest cost driver, however, is electromobility. Because more than half of this increase in costs ($ 2,235) results from the electrification of the powertrain. In the case of autonomous driving, the additional funds required for automotive electronics (US $ 925) are largely attributable to computing power and sensors.


At productronica 2021, a number of companies will be presenting machines and services for developing and manufacturing high-performance electronics for driver assistance systems for implementing automated driving. These include camera, radar, ultrasonic and LiDAR sensors or specialized SoC multicore platforms for security and vision.


If systems that enable autonomous driving are to take responsibility for the safety of the occupants, one hundred percent reliability of every component is essential. Because even errors at the atomic level can lead to malfunctions or failure. Purity and technical cleanliness must meet the highest standards in production. At productronica 2021, clean rooms, clean room boxes and dust-free workplaces can be seen in Hall B2. In addition, the “PCB & EMS Speakers Corner” in Hall B3 deals with clean room technologies, among other things.


At the same time, all materials, components and systems undergo permanent extensive inspections. The measurement and testing technology for this takes place in all its facets mainly in Halls A1, A2, B2 and is the subject of the “productronica Forum” in Hall A1.


The “Innovation Forum” in Hall B2, on the other hand, is dedicated to the superordinate area of ​​“Smart Mobility”.


Productronica 2021 exhibitor on the topic of “Autonomous Driving”

AEMtec GmbH (Hall B3 Stand 102)

Complex and reliable module solutions for sensors and driver assistance systems (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, ADAS).


Automation Engineering, Inc. (Hall A3 Booth 342)

Active Aligned Cameras and Sensors for Driver Assistance Systems.


Alfamation (Hall A1 Stand 439)

Test equipment for V2X communication, driver assistance systems, cameras or battery management systems.


Boschmann Group (Hall B2 Stand 401)

Advanced Packaging for MEMS, image and position sensors as well as power electronics.


Manz (Hall B2 Stand 416)

Production systems for displays, electronic components and control devices as well as sensors and cameras for driver assistance systems.


Rohde & Schwarz (Hall A1 Stand 375)

Test solutions for radar sensors (R & S®QAR radome tester), automotive Ethernet conformity, EMI pre-compliance and EMC conformity.


Zeiss Industrial Metrology (Hall A1 Stand 371)

High precision in quality testing (tactile, optical, X-ray microscopy) in electromobility and autonomous driving.

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