Tier 1 suppliers for autonomous driving: Chinese Tier 1 suppliers have not embarked on the actuation layer, and L3 will spread after 2022

Amid the controversy in L3, some media believe that Audi will give up L3, which is later denied by Audi saying it only elevate the L3 research to Volkswagen Group.

Most OEMs plan to launch L3 models in 2020 except Volvo, Ford and NextEV that will skip L3.

Strictly speaking, the L3 models to be launched by OEMs in 2020 may be prototypes of some high-end models or not real L3 models.

Tier 1 suppliers are not in readiness for large-scale supply to L3 models. Continental, for instance, focuses on L2 + models between 2019 and 2022, and will commercialize L3 models after 2022. Bosch will also begin commercializing the L3 highway pilot (HWP) function after 2022. To increase redundancy of the system, Bosch renders a dual-domain controller architecture to further ensure the system security.

In the realm of autonomous driving, Tier 1 suppliers profit mainly from ADAS. Although Mobileye enjoys the largest market share in terms of ADAS algorithms (including software and chips), it did not secure the highest revenue in 2019 in the ADAS market which also covers control units, millimeter wave radars, map positioning systems, etc.

A case in point is Continental whose ADAS revenue in 2019 posted ?4 billion (20% from ADAS domain control unit (ADCU) and 40% from radars).

It can be seen in the table below that Bosch, Continental and Valeo stay ahead by deployments among foreign Tier 1 suppliers, and Huawei deploys most widely in Chinese Tier 1 suppliers.

Chinese Tier 1 suppliers have not embarked on the actuation layer, which is undoubtedly their biggest shortcoming. Without the know-how about actuation technology, they cannot control the autonomous vehicles accurately nor have the initiative. It is expected that they will invest in or acquire related companies in the near future to address inadequacies.

Despite lagged far behind foreign Tier 1 suppliers in the underlying hardware of autonomous driving, Chinese Tier 1 suppliers delve more into application scenarios and V2X than foreign counterparts who usually deploy in expressways, urban roads, and autonomous parking, for the three of which Valeo, for example, launched Cruise4U, Drive4U, Park4U , respectively.

Chinese Tier 1 suppliers have laid out more scenarios. Together with partners, Baidu is present in such scenarios as autonomous cleaning, autonomous agricultural machinery, autonomous shuttles, RoboTaxi, autonomous delivery, autonomous buses, autonomous trucks, and AVP.

Alibaba is pivoted on autonomous logistics vehicle to bolster its e-commerce business
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