By Kate Yuan
(JW Insights) May 19 -- Chinese carmakers and chipmakers are ramping up efforts in the smart cockpit field, which has become a battleground for competition differentiation among automakers and a key factor in Chinese consumers' car-purchasing decisions, according to a JW Insights report on May 16.
The penetration rate of intelligent cockpits will continue to soar in the coming years. China’s smart cockpit market will reach RMB212.7 billion ($30.14 billion) by 2026, with penetration rate rising from the current 59% to 82%, according to a report by KPMG China.
China's faster-than-expected electrification process is also rapidly driving the popularization of smart cockpits. Wang Jiadong, head of Faurecia's Cockpit Of the Future in China, told JW Insights, "Smart cockpits have become a standard configuration among China's EV startups.”
In-vehicle human-computer interaction is becoming more diverse and intelligent. The car seats have been completely upgraded. Zeekr X, IM LS7, and Wey Blue Mountain (魏牌蓝山) have all been equipped with zero-gravity seats which are featured with multiple technologies including electric adjustment, massage systems, and electric suspension headrests.
Car screens are evolving from a single central control screens to dual and multi-screens. Porsche Cayenne and the recently launched Wey Blue Mountain have both adopted the mainstream triple-screen setup.
Meanwhile, intelligent interaction designs are available in more scenarios. For example, the Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept car extends communication range beyond the vehicle for the first time with the help of intelligent connectivity and projections. It can provide information to other road users with visual signals.
AIGC (AI-generated content) represented by ChatGPT and ERNIE Bot will also be deeply integrated with intelligent cockpits, bringing "emotional" and "anthropomorphic" cockpit interactions into reality. Voyah (岚图), a Baidu strategic partner, will be the first to carry Baidu's ERNIE Bot. They will jointly develop large model AI interactions by integrating Baidu's Apollo Self-Driving and ERNIE Bot.
Chinese chip makers are also developing cockpit chips to meet the higher demand for computing power in smart cockpits. US chip giant Qualcomm has dominated intelligent cockpit chip field, and its Snapdragon 8155 is the mainstream choice of many automakers in China and other countries.
In recent years, Chinese companies have also been expanding in the smart cockpit field, including Huawei, Horizon Robotics(地平线), SiEngine (芯擎科技), SemiDrive (芯驰科技), and Black Sesame (黑芝麻智能). Global suppliers are increasingly making solutions based on Chinese cockpit chips.
Lynk & Co (领克), a joint venture between Geely and Volvo, has adopted two 7nm automotive-grade intelligent cockpit chips made by SiEngine in its SUV 08. The powerful CPU and GPU computing power allow Lynk & Co’s industry-first giant 92-inch AR-HUD to run smoothly with a 2K resolution.
Visteon, an international systems supplier, has also used this 7nm chip on its SmartCore™ cockpit domain controller. This is the first time Visteon has adopted a Chinese smart cockpit domain controller solution.
SemiDrive has upgraded its cockpit processor X9SP, which has 20 times better NPU performance specially designed for AI scenarios. Chinese smart mobility solution provider Desay SV (德赛西威) is the first customer of the product.
Black Sesame released its first Wudang series chip, C1200, in early April, which supports cross-domain computing. It can meet various cross-domain computing scenarios, including CMS (Camera Monitor System), integrated driving and parking, vehicle computing, infotainment systems, intelligent headlights, and in-cabin sensing systems.
Currently, the smart cockpit is still in its early stages of development. Upstream and downstream companies in the automotive industry chain need to grasp the underlying user needs and interactive experiences.
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