|Author||Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli (The Edgar L. and Harold H. Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, and Chief Technology Advisor, Member of the Board and Co-founder, Cadence Design Systems, United States)|
|Abstract||The world of electronics is witnessing a revolution in the way products
are conceived, designed and implemented. The ever growing importance of
the web, the advent of microprocessors of great computational power, the
explosion of wireless communication, the development of new generations
of integrated sensors and actuators are changing the world in which we
live and work. The new key words are:
- Disappearing electronics, i.e., electronics has to be invisible to
the user, it has to help unobtrusively.
- Pervasive computing, i.e., electronics is everywhere, all common
use objects will have an electronic dimension.
- Ambient intelligence, i.e., the environment will react to us with
the use of electronic components. They will recognize who we are
and what we like.
- Wearable computing, i.e., the new devices will be worn as a watch
or a hat. They will become part of our clothes. Some of these
devices will be tags that will contain all important information
- Know more, carry less, i.e., the environment will know more about
us so that we will not need to carry all the paraphernalia of
keys, credit cards, personal I.D.s, access cards, access codes.
The car as a self-contained microcosm is experiencing a similar
revolution: all the key words listed above are going to have a great
impact on the automotive world. We need to rethink what a car really is
and the role of electronics in it. Electronics is now essential to
control the movements of a car, of the chemical and electrical processes
taking place in it, to entertain the passengers, to establish
connectivity with the rest of the world, to ensure safety. What will an
automobile manufacturer's core competence become in the next few years?
Will electronics be the essential element in car manufacturing and
design? The challenges and opportunities are related to
- how to integrate the mechanical and the electronics worlds, i.e.,
how to make mechatronics a reality in the automotive world,
- how to integrate the different motion control and power-train
control functions so that important synergies can be exploited,
- how to combine entertainment, communication and navigation
- how to couple the world of electronics where the life time of a
product is around 2 years and shrinking, with the automotive
world, where the product life time is 10 years and possibly
- how to develop new services based on electronics technology,
- how to exploit communication among cars and between cars and
infrastructure such as Global Positioning Systems and cellular
- how are the markets evolving (for example, what will be the size
of the after-market sales for automotive electronics, if any?).
We will pose these questions while reviewing some of the most important
technology and product developments of the past few years. We will also
present new trends on how the design of electronics of the car should be
carried out. We will finally analyze the dynamics of the automotive
electronics industry that is bound to produce a major shake-up in the
structure of the design chain with particular emphasis on the AUTOSAR