‘From Hype to Realization’: All About the 28th International Automobil-Elektronik Kongress

With the theme of ‘SDV – From Hype to Realization – Bringing HW and SW Building Blocks Successfully onto the Road’, the premier event for the automotive electronics industry drew more than 600 visitors and featured 40 exhibitors and sponsors.

Throughout two packed days of agenda and presentations, the Automobil-Elektronik Kongress (AEK) buzzed with discussions about Software Defined Vehicles (SDVs), semiconductor advancements, AI integration, and in-car payment solutions.

IMEC, a leading R&D company in chip design, addressed the industry's shift towards SDVs and escalating computational demands, as well as the transition from monolithic systems-on-chips (SoCs) to chiplet-based architectures.

Meanwhile, BMW delivered a compelling vision of software-centered development strategies and stressed the need to simplify tool validation and platform integration. The company also touched on proposals for new industry standards through the Eclipse SDV open-source initiative, a collaborative effort supported by industry players like CARIAD, SEAT, Mercedes, and Continental.

Throughout the conference, the future of automotive electronics seemed to take shape. Here are some of the key trends that emerged:

1. SDV: From Concept to Reality

The conference theme centered around SDVs, encapsulating the industry's focus on transitioning from conceptual buzz to practical implementation. While SDV remains a popular term, AEK highlighted some of its main challenges. Discussions delved into varying interpretations of SDV, emphasizing a paradigm shift towards software-centric development over traditional automotive design. Notably, Tesla was frequently cited as a leader in SDV innovation, thanks to continuous software updates and advanced vehicle functionality.

Underscoring this trend, Volkswagen Group and Rivian Automotive announced a joint venture to develop SDV platforms for electric vehicles. The partnership portends wider integration of electric vehicles into commercial fleets and significant advancements for the automotive industry as a whole.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Enhancing Driver Experiences

Of course, the event could not be without highlighting practical applications for AI, like providing an in-car companion, facilitating trip planning, giving recommendations, and using driver data for tailored benefits.

AI also has the potential to minimize waste and enhance productivity within automotive manufacturing processes, particularly in semiconductor production.

One particularly interesting topic was the use of AI for development processes. Generative AI has the power to streamline tasks by consolidating information, identifying errors, and suggesting changes in new iterations. However, speakers at AEK emphasized the need for human oversight in verifying AI outputs, particularly for ensuring safety and reliability across critical automotive components.

The congress highlighted ongoing pre-development projects aimed at refining practical applications beyond traditional AI frameworks. If one thing's clear, it's that we're only scratching the surface of AI's potential to transform automotive electronics.

3. Change in System-on-Chip Architecture

The conference revealed a pronounced shift in automotive electronics: from traditional Electronic Control Units (ECUs) towards centralized and zonal EE-architectures. AEK helped to unpack this transition, where centralized architectures consolidate multiple functions into larger, High Performance Computers (HPCs), to optimize operational efficiency and integration.

A notable innovation highlighted was chiplet-based systems, inspired by companies like Qualcomm. The approach enables designers to integrate components from different manufacturers – such as NVIDIA for graphics, Infineon for memory, and Qualcomm for processing – onto a single chip. This departure from older methods of separate, interconnected chips promises enhanced performance, scalability, and cost efficiency across diverse automotive applications.

4. In-Car Payment Solutions and Service Integration

AEK featured innovations in integrating digital payment solutions within vehicles, which aim to elevate driver convenience and unlock new revenue streams in the automotive sector. Parcopedia presented pioneering solutions, including seamless integration of platforms like EasyPark directly into vehicle systems.

With EasyPark, drivers can initiate and conclude parking sessions via smartphone, simplifying transactions to a single click. Parcopedia extended these capabilities to encompass broader services such as electric vehicle charging, refueling, and car washes, streamlining payment processes for drivers across diverse service providers.

By embedding these payment solutions into vehicle systems, manufacturers enhance user experience while capitalizing on transaction fees, positioning in-car payments as a lucrative avenue in the digital automotive ecosystem.

The Arrival of the Era of Autonomous Driving?

Automated driving was another hot topic at this industry-shaping event. Automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz are already integrating limited self-driving capabilities into series production vehicles, operating within their defined Operational Design Domains (ODD). These systems enable Level 3 autonomy, allowing for hands-free driving in controlled environments like congested city traffic. By adhering to specific limitations on speed and street category, these vehicles leverage current sensor technology, paving the way for broader adoption of autonomous features.

Looking ahead, achieving full autonomous driving poses financial challenges and prompts inquiries about market readiness and consumer acceptance. However, collaborative efforts are driving progress towards overcoming these barriers.

As the automotive landscape continues to evolve, dynamic shifts in technology and user expectations will redefine standards and shape the future driving experience.

A Trusted Development Partner Committed to Excellence

In today's automotive industry, having a reliable development partner is crucial for navigating technological advancements and market demands.

At intive, we pride ourselves on our commitment to excellence and our ability to support automotive manufacturers and suppliers in achieving their goals through cutting-edge solutions and tailored development strategies.

We’re a certified development partner with a diverse portfolio including agile development, backend systems, smartphone applications, and specialized in-vehicle projects, reflecting our extensive cross-industry experience. This enables us to support customers not just in basic digitalization but also in pioneering advancements aligned with industry trends.

Our longstanding partnership with Audi underscore our commitment to shaping the future of in-car experiences. Additionally, we have experience in enhancing road safety through compliant software development for leading OEMs.

We are focused on designing and engineering cutting-edge solutions, including ADAS, Body, Comfort & Connect, AI & Algorithms, HMI & Infotainment Development Services, Cloud & Backend Solutions, and e-Powertrain. Our tailored approach ensures that we meet the evolving needs of our clients across the automotive sector.

To stay ahead of the automotive curve, contact intive for personalized consultation on how we can support your automotive projects.

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