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Sensors and Data Management for Autonomous Vehicles report 2015

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Beyond the hype and tumult, sensor technology has ushered in one of the car industry’s biggest evolutions – one that will ensure a bright future for sensor providers and the semiconductor industry!

Multiple sensing technologies will ensure many market opportunities for Tier 1 players, Tier 2 players, and newcomers alike
Sensor technologies are a driving force in making fully autonomous vehicles a reality. Automakers are racing to develop safe self-driving cars, but this race is a distance run more than a sprint, where multiple automation stages will imply multiple sensors. Ultrasonic sensors, radars, and multiple cameras systems are already embedded in high-end vehicles -- and within 10 years, they could also include long-range cameras, LIDAR, micro bolometer and accurate dead reckoning. These devices will work concurrently and each technology will support another to ensure codependency and avoid concerns. Even though sensors are only part of the puzzle, their market opportunities are promising.

 Different levels of automation toward fully autonomous car

Sensor technology roadmap and autonomous functions associated
By 2030, sensors for autonomous cars could be worth $36B!
The necessary building blocks for monitoring an autonomous car (sensors, software, Electronic Control Unit (ECU)), data management, GPS and connectivity) require efficient, reliable devices. Ultrasonic sensors, cameras, and radar technologies are all mature enough now and priced right for embedding in more and more cars for such purpose. Industry efforts are now focused on LIDAR and dead reckoning systems that will add new features to the autonomous driving experience.  Yole Développement (Yole) expects a $2.6B market value in 2015 for sensors in autonomous cars, reaching $36B by 2030 at a CAGR of 19%.
Currently, the most advanced commercial car with autonomous features embeds in the order of 17 sensors.  Yole anticipates 29+ sensors by 2030. Today, two sensor businesses dominate: ultrasonic sensors and cameras for surround. Together they are worth a $2.4B market value, but ultrasonic sensors comprise 85% of current market volume. By 2030, cameras for surround will lead the market at $12B, followed by ultrasound sensors and long-range radar ($8.7B and $7.9B respectively), and then short-range radar ($5B).  Overall 2030 market value is estimated at $36B.

Sensor modules market value for autonomous cars from 2015 to 2030
The key sensor technologies are mature, but bottlenecks exist elsewhere
Sensor technologies are mature, but embedded data processing and management are still under construction, with emerging players like Mobileye, nVidia, and Kalray providing advanced ECU challenging the established players like Toshiba or Infineon. This report details the state-of-the-art technology inherent to ultrasonic sensors, short-range radar, long-range radar, LIDAR, and dead reckoning sensors, along with the associated data management.
Future cars will slowly evolve from traditional mechanical, fuel-powered, and high-powered electronic vehicles into electrical-powered, ultra-sensitive machines that can anticipate many critical situations. The overall goal is to replace the last remaining cause of driving errors:  human beings.

Yes, the automotive market holds great promise.  But who will profit?  The market value for sensors in autonomous vehicles is likely to grow rapidly, but a strong focus on computing and software is expected in the coming years, with more powerful ECUs and sensor fusion for improved reliability and efficiency.  We believe that sooner or later the value will flow from sensors to ECU and software, leading to the emergence of new specialized players who will take a slice of the pie.

The five basic blocks for autonomous cars Main sensors to transform your car into a superhero car

Autonomous trends are radically changing the landscape, but knock-on effects won't be visible for a few years.
Automakers and automotive equipment makers are facing a new era with multiple threats, from newcomers arising from the convergence of the EV/HEV movement, to service industry growth fueled by companies like Uber, to the consumer electronics business.  Yole believes this “multi-front battle” will lead to a profound change in the auto industry’s landscape. With the advent of electronics during the 20th century’s second half, cars have become faster, safer, more efficient, and increasingly connected. For proof, consider that the average car today consists of more than 30% electronics.

All of these evolutions will likely lead to mass-market adoption of semi-autonomous vehicles by 2030.  We expect more than 22M units (18% of all vehicles sold) of level-2 vehicles and 10M units of level-3 vehicles by 2030, along with 38M units of level-2 vehicles and 1M units of Level-4 vehicles. This projected adoption rate of autonomous vehicles could create an entirely new phenomenon that could shake the auto industry’s very foundations. Even now, people are wondering whether autonomous vehicle technology could create new sub-industries, i.e. car-sharing and car-on-demand services. The main players are fully aware that such disruptive scenarios are possible, and that they could lead to a higher initial volume due to the up-front investment from car-sharing and car-on-demand companies, followed by a possible stagnation in global car shipment volumes. One thing is certain: after the 2008 crisis, the automotive industry feels like being in the eye of the storm!

Objectives of the report
This report provides:

  • A deep understanding of sensors and data management for autonomous vehicles
  • Market data on sensors and data management (unit shipments and revenue by sensor type)
  • ASP analysis and expected evolution
  • A focus on applications in key existing markets and promising emerging ones
  • Answers to questions like, “What are the major drivers?” and, “What will the market look like in 2030?”
  • An analysis of this business’s major technology trends, value chain, infrastructure, and players

Table of contents

Table of contents & report  scope    2

Introduction, definitions & methodology    6

Executive summary    13

The transportation industry’s history and evolution    37

The move toward autonomous driving    54

Level 0/1 - Low level of automation    
Level 2/3 - Partial automation    
Level 4/5 – Fully autonomous vehicles


Market forecasts    77

Worldwide cars sales 2015 - 2050    
Breakdown of car sales by automation level    
Sensor module forecasts (M units)    
Sensor module forecasts ($M)    

Sensors for autonomous driving    89

Ultrasonic    93

Radar (SRR/LRR)    97

Camera    105

LIDAR    121

FIR/NIR    127

Dead reckoning    143

Technology roadmap    147

Supply chain    153

Data management and processing    164

Security and regulation    170

Conclusion & perspectives    177

Yole’s presentation    179



































Companies cited

Aisin Seiki
Carnegie Mellon
Tessera Fotonation
General Motors

Magna Electronics

Texas Instruments
Volvo  and many more…























































  • Understanding of the automotive landscape and its evolution
  • Evolution of car automation relative to sensors
  • Description of sensors (Ultrasonic, SRR-LRR radars, LIDAR, cameras, dead reckoning, etc.) for autonomous vehicles, along with building blocks and main challenges
  • 2015 -2050 market forecasts in $USM, units
  • Technology trends and roadmaps
  • Major players’ supply chain description
  • Supply chain analysis and evolution