Strong growth ahead for automotive image sensors

Strong growth ahead for automotive image sensors

Market news |
By eeNews Europe

Functions associated to Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) like parking assistance (APA), lane departure warning (LDW) and collision avoidance greatly depend on image sensors. The increasing popularity of such systems creates heavy demand for cameras, all the more so since some systems such as 360° surround view require multiple cameras. Smithers Apex has reckoned that the market volume for such image sensors therefore will grow at a pace of more than 50% per year through 2018. In terms of market value, the market researcher expects it to reach $165 billion within the next five years – up from just $18.5 bn.

The rising volume for ADAS cameras is also owed to the fact that there is a major shift in the market: While a few years ago, camera-based ADAS were a feature of the luxury vehicle class and thus sold in small numbers, today such systems are available for more or less all vehicles categories down to the compact class. A couple of years ago, a Lexus LS400 owner had to pay about $3000 for the optional ADAS – buyers of a mainstream Ford vehicles today get it for less than $400. An additional boost in image sensor demand can be expected from the next ADAS generation which look into the vehicle interior, constantly monitoring the driver’s state. In the years ahead, driver situation and prediction analysis, based on camera information, will be used to filter the various warning messages from ADAS systems.

According to Smithers Apex’ analysis, there are both consumer and regulatory drivers for increased use of ADAS systems and thus image sensors: While consumers tend to enjoy new gadgets that help them reducing their risk of an accident, regulators are interested in improving road safety. The Euro NCAP safety certification program requires that only cars with ADAS systems would be awarded their top rating of 5 stars. Similar development is under way in the United States. Both factors led to an increased deployment of ADAS which in turn represents a remarkable commercial opportunity for the image sensors industry. Euro NCAP’s tightened safety requirements alone are expected to boost installed ADAS equipment from single-digit to almost 100% over the coming years.

Many automotive OEMs including Audi, Ford, GM, and Toyota are making significant investments to improve their expertise and implementation of ADAS systems. In addition, a number of tier ones and other independent technology enterprises provide ADAS to on-road vehicles, driving aftermarket sales of these products and participate in this booming market. Examples are Aisin, Audiovox, Continental, Ficosa, and Hella.

In terms of geographical distribution, North America and western Europe are the major markets. Asian OEMs such as Honda, Hyundai / Kia, Nissan or Toyota are also beginning to offer ADAS in their vehicles. Further countries including China, South Korea and Japan are expected to make safety-related driver assistance systems mandatory soon which then would translate into another surge in demand over the next five years.

Related articles:

ADAS trickle down from luxury segment to budget cars

Safety-related driver assist systems are becoming mainstream

Camera based ADAS for mass deployments

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