esg in car

Embedded systems in the car will grow, according to a German survey (Photo: ESG)

FUERSTENFELDBRUCK, Germany -- Automakers and suppliers see standardization as key to the growth of embedded systems, according to a survey of decision makers in the auto and aerospace industry.

They also believe hardware and software can in future come from different companies and they see relatively good potential for service providers to play an important role in the growth of embedded systems.

The survey was carried out by the forsa agency for market researchers F.A.Z Institute and automotive electronics service provider ESG. The researchers polled 100 decision makers in the German auto and aerospace industries about their views on the growth of embedded systems.

"The view that software and hardware can be separated was mildly surprising," said Jacqueline Preusser, the research analyst who coordinated the project at the F.A.Z Institute. "Those two sides are still connected at the moment."

According to the survey, 86 pc of automotive executives polled felt that infotainment hardware and software could come from different providers in future. For visualization components, 77 pc felt this way, while the percentage stood at 74 pc for driver assistance systems. Auto executives were less convinced of this trend for embedded systems supporting powertrain and engine electronics.

Growth seen

Most executives expected the market for embedded systems to grow moderately or strongly. Embedded systems manage a specific function in the car through a combination of hardware and software that includes mechanics, sensors and various electronic components.

Hans Georg Frischkorn, the head of ESG's automotive operations, said the poll underscored how important embedded systems are for future innovations in the car. In a press briefing at ESG headquarters here, he particularly cited the growth in networked functions. "It willbe very exciting to see the smart car, the smart grid and the smart home all networked together," he said.

Almost all executives interviewed said networked functions would grow most in importance when it came to r&d trends for the next five years. Safety-and-security and miniaturization were seen as the second and third-most important, respectively.

Frischkorn said the connected car will mean increasing complexity in electronic systems. "Standardization is necessary to manage that complexity," he said.

In the auto industry, 36 pc of executives polled, considered standardization the biggest challenge for the next five years. User friendliness came second with 14 pc and compatibility of hardware and software was third with 12 pc.

System integration

With embedded systems increasing in cars, 95 of the 100 executives polled agreed that system integration was becoming more important.

In the auto industry, most - 56 pc - agreed that automakers will continue to manage this challenge. But 42 pc also saw a growing role for engineering service providers.

ESG's Frischkorn said that, given the multitude of tasks a carmaker has to manage, engineering service providers will play a role in system integration. Said the ESG executive: "It's not an either-or question."

-Arjen Bongard