If a car can be put under consumer product section, then automotive electronics becomes part of consumer electronics and then the car will become the major driver of consumer electronics market. The self driving car was clearly one of the attractive product at this year's consumer electronics event CES 2017. It was more of a semi-automotive show. All this happening due to technology convergence. No boundaries or atleast blurred boundaries across different sectors. "While CES is an acronym for Consumer Electronics Show, the running joke at this annual Las Vegas event is that CES is turning into the Car Electronics Show." quoted in a news story from USA Today. No wonder if some time in future you see some sort of electronics tools/devices to increase agricuture/farming yield showcased at this same show.
The goal set by experts at CES 2017 is to have self-driving cars on the road by 2020 by helping the tech convergence of IoT and artificial intelligence.
When it comes to electronics, every consumer electronics focused companies now are into automotive, mainly the semiconductor companies. Intel is leading here. It acquired Mobileye, an autonomous driving tech expert. QUALCOMM to acquire NXP semiconductor, and together the company will have higher capabilities in the self driving car technology. Samsung to acquire Harman with the strategy to enter self driving car market. Companies such as STMicroelectronics, Renesas are also better equipped to address this market. One of the advanced car-maker Tesla is also into electronic hardware development including chips, according to some of the reports, where it says the company has hired highly talented X-AMD processor design engineers. ARM has developed an exclusive processor core called on ARM Cortex R52 for self driving cars, which STMicroelectronics has already licensed. CEVA is also developing self driving supporting processor cores.
AImotive' convolutional neural networks (CNNs) with the CEVA-XM4 intelligent vision DSP together used to detect free space surrounding the vehicle to provide a safe path for autonomous vehicles. AdasWorks develops AiDrive, an AI based full stack software suit for Level 5 self-driving cars.
"AI-based systems in automotive applications are relatively rare, but they will grow to become standard in new vehicles over the next five years" as per IHS.
Speech recognition, gesture recognition , eye tracking and driver monitoring, virtual assistance and natural language interfaces, camera-based machine vision systems, radar-based detection units, driver condition evaluation, and sensor fusion engine control units (ECU), and many such electronics dependent technologies will be powering self driving cars.
The consumer electronics is entering the “Post-Text Era” where images, speech, and video replace not only the output but basically input too. Machines will respond like humans and slowly learn like us.
Voice/speech recognition technology based products: This year's CES 2017 has witnessed large number of products supporting voice control. From smart homes to cars to robots, voice powered search engines such as Alexa were used in many products including cars displayed at CES 2017. The robot market benefits hugely with the success of voice control. There were a lot of different types of robots displayed at CES 2017 embedded with voice control. “Professor Einstein” from Hanson Robotics is one good example of a robot which matches close to human type robot. Now robots are ready for some home care need which will work as personal assistants.
IoT is no more a just Internet of things but is more of intelligence of things. When there is intelligence in the air, security and safety is a big issue, and the threat is growing.
Note: This Article was edited for company name correction on 22nd Mar 2017.