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ADAS Adoption is Going to Be More Driven by Utility and Effectiveness

Ashwin RamachandraThe Indian auto industry is one of the largest in the world. The industry accounts for 7.1 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Since India is also a prominent auto exporter and has strong export growth expectations for the near future, it is vital to keep up with the trends and changing cultures of the sector. ADAS technology seems like the next big transformation that India is stepping on. ADAS are systems developed to automate, adapt and enhance vehicle systems for safety and better driving. To dive in a bit on the designing part, BISInfotech’s Niloy Banerjee exclusively shared a knowledgeable dialogue with Ashwin Ramachandra, VP & Head, Product Engineering Services, Sasken Technologies, who further gave us an overview of ADAS in India-what and what not to expect, the opportunities and challenges in the designing of ADAS.

  1. Why do you think ADAS technology is still stemmed in the global automotive market, especially in a country like India where the Automobile industry counts as one of the highest markets gross in the world?

Indian automotive market, is heavily skewed towards vehicles in economy bracket, has, traditionally, been follower of technology with emphasis on utility and adaptation of features for Indian driving conditions. Vehicles in Indian market have witnessed deployment of ADAS solutions but mostly under Level 1-2 autonomy category. ADAS solutions adopted in Indian market has been more closer to core vehicular control technology, i.e., ESC, ABS, EBA, parking assist, Sensor-driven Wipers, telematics-based assistance, and new age disruptive ADAS technologies are yet to pick up momentum.

AI, Vision and sensor driven disruptive ADAS technologies developed towards autonomous driving are still under evolution and is still in investment phase. While the core technology is proven to a great extent, it will take considerable investment, time and change in regulatory environment before large-scale adoption is seen. Relatively poorer traffic and road condition poses greater challenge for adoption in Indian market. These are the primary the reasons that Indian automotive companies have been slow on adopting such ADAS solutions.

However, landscape is changing quite rapidly when it comes to being partner for Level 2/3 ADAS technology development in India. With deep expertise in underlying silicon platform, embedded software development, sensor and wireless technologies, there are reports of remarkable work happening in India based companies and India based development centres of global companies. For example, here at Sasken, we focus heavily on providing computer vision, AI, sensor and connectivity based ADAS warning and alert solutions which are realized on silicon computing platform and tested for road conditions. Indian automotive companies are also investing on developing such solutions along with semiconductor and solution development partner with suitability for Indian market.

While we may not see autonomous vehicle on Indian road soon, there would be range of discrete vision and sensor and connectivity based warning and alert solutions which would be adopted to Indian conditions and deployed in vehicles in next few years either as aftermarket or factory fitted solutions.

  1. In a league to develop cost-effective yet reliable ADAS solution, what hiccups does a designer face in the complete process of developing a scalable, robust, secure and reliable solution?

Unlike past, the development environment and access to technology has become lot easier for ADAS solution developers. On electronic component front, there are silicon reference platform available with development kit for easy prototyping and solution development. While this is good, there are plenty of challenges, top 3 being testability/testing environment, compliance to functional safety guidelines/regulatory requirements and integration with core vehicle platform.   More attention is required to focus on these aspects for ADAS product development which can be used in vehicles.

In terms of skills, machine learning, computer vision, sensor fusion, simulation & modelling, and wireless system are the core skills which need to problems in automotive domain.  It is important to acquire these skills.

  1. How soon do you reckon that ADAS will integrate in economy cars, given a strong growth rate to the existing semiconductor market?

As for Indian market, we might witness non-intrusive warning and alert ADAS systems in next 3 years in mid to high range cars, and within next 2 to 5 years in economy cars. Adoption is going to be more driven by utility and effectiveness. We are likely to see proliferation of telematics & vision based solution followed by more advanced solutions. Remote vehicle monitoring & assistance, surround view, Driver drowsiness, Drive recorders, parking assistant and proximity/range sensors are likely to get deployed as independent assistance solution.  During this period, we may also observe start of adoption of vision and radar-based advance driver alert solutions.

  1. How critical is it for designers to make sure to low EM/EMI emission reduction as today many regulatory bodies enforce standards to ensure compliance?

With more and more electronic and wireless component getting added in vehicles, EMI/EMC aspects have becomes extremely important. Not only does the solution need to take care of emissions but it also needs to ensure its susceptibility to emission from other sources. It requires focus on automotive grade processor selection, EMI characteristics, shielding at different level, compliance electrification/homologation/functional safety standard and regulatory requirements.

  1. Lastly, what challenges and opportunities do you purview in this emerging technology field? Do share some thoughts on how ADAS is expected to shape up in 2018?

Like the last decade was dedicated to mobile technology, this decade is going to observe tremendous progress in automotive segment where electrical vehicle, autonomous driving, intelligent transportation system are going to be the leading trends. ADAS solutions are integral part of all of these trends and offer ample opportunities in challenges.  Electronics, vision computing, sensor fusion, AI and connectivity being integral part of ADAS, we can expect to see more complete hardware platform for quick solution prototyping. This requires semiconductor companies to offer more ready HW platform for computer vision, sensor integration, and compatibility with vehicle interfacing. Other challenges, and also opportunities, lie in vehicle integration and on-road validation of these solutions.  With US government allowing more test vehicle on road, we would see more ADAS solution getting in commercial vehicles. India should focus on being engineering power house to productize these solution for global market and adapting for local conditions.

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