Five predictions for the auto industry in 2022

As we look to the future this year, automotive designers and OEMs will be looking at different ways to speed up the development and manufacturing process to shorten the overall release cycle so that more time can be spent on design of highly personalized solutions.

Here are five predictions of what’s to come for the auto industry in 2022:

More edge computing power

As we advance in the capabilities of autonomous vehicles, more computing power is needed at the edge. This computing power is needed to support the wide range and volume of sensors and devices needed to perform specific aspects of autonomous driving and adapt to driver conveniences.

By delivering computing power to the edge, overall processing is accelerated and overall data throughput on the vehicle network is reduced.

However, even more computing power will move to the central core of the vehicle as the next generation of consolidated computing platforms become more widespread. The next generation, which will likely be introduced at the end of this year, will consolidate ancillary services and system-on-chips (SoCs) that are typically spread throughout the vehicle.

Within this central compute core, we’re going to see fewer and more powerful SoCs each containing multiple compute cores as well as specialized cores for virtualization. The virtualization function within the SoC will provide services to the vehicle that would normally have been offered through a dedicated microcontroller or dedicated electronic control unit (ECU).

Automotive cybersecurity will become more integrated into automotive organizations

This year, car manufacturers will ask many important questions regarding the implementation of car safety standards, in particular ISO/SAE 21434which includes security management, project-dependent cybersecurity management, ongoing cybersecurity activities, associated risk assessment methods, and cybersecurity in the development and post-development phases of road vehicles.

In 2022, organizations must prioritize cybersecurity and integrate these activities into their established programs.

Digital twins will become more prevalent in automotive design and testing

The need for digital twin technologies in the automotive industry will only increase in 2022 as custom processors and more software are managed and delivered through the automotive software pipeline. System architects have to answer many questions about brand-new ECUs, such as: how do they work, what is the packaging, and when can software start testing on them? The hardware required to start software testing can take months or even years to be ready. When a digital twin is available, this time is reduced considerably. As designers develop the next iteration of hardware design, they can model it in a digital version and quickly make it available to software developers.

The era of electric vehicles begins in earnest

It is very likely that 2022 will be the tipping point where we start to see batteries-electric vehicles (EVB) become mainstream.

OEMs will showcase models that cover a wide range of needs, from entry-level BEVs to high-end BEVs that have full cruising capabilities, extended range, traditional driving aids, smart capabilities around autonomous drivinghighway driving assistancehigh automation of driving, etc.

Manufacturers are beginning to determine what consumers really want in their vehicles while solving technical challenges, such as material availability and manufacturing cost.

People may start moving away from personal vehicles

Will group or fleet owned vehicles become more of the norm over individually owned vehicles, especially in high density metropolitan areas? Consumers who purchase this model have access to a vehicle they can program or call on demand and receive in 30 minutes or less.

We have already seen many organizations and startups offering this type of solution, but there is a lot of room to grow and understand what consumers are looking for in this market segment. The outcome will depend on many factors, including how consumers perceive the potential transmissibility of COVID-19 (or another pathogen) in a shared vehicle over the next 12 months.

Ultimately, automakers will bring innovation and creative problem solving to the table in 2022 to meet the challenges caused by supply chain disruption, the economic effects of COVID-19, changing consumer preferences, new cybersecurity standards and the need to develop sustainable options.

Chris Clark (photo, left) is senior manager – Automotive Software & Security for the Synopsys Automotive Group, who helps develop secure OTA software updates and in-vehicle applications.

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