Research on foreign ADAS Tier 1 suppliers: 4D radar starts volume production, and CMS becomes a new battlefield.

1. Global Tier 1 suppliers boast complete ADAS/AD product matrix, and make continuous efforts to grab the Chinese market.

From the ADAS/AD product matrix, it can be seen that some Tier 1 leaders have almost complete product matrix.

For example, Continental’s latest products include: cockpit monitoring system (CMS, OMS), configured with an OMS camera and a cockpit radar and expected to be released in 2024; HRL131, a 1550nm long-range LiDAR with a detection range of more than 300m, 128? HFOV, 28? VFOV, expected to be mass-produced in 2024; and CUS320, a ultrasonic radar with a detection range of 0.1m-6m, expected to be spawned in 2024.

Bosch has a full range of ADAS/AD products except CMS. Its latest products include: a 1550nm long-range LiDAR, physically displayed at the CES 2023, with a detection range of over 200m and power consumption of less than 20W; an in-cabin monitoring system (IMS, OMS), configured with an OMS camera installed above the center console screen or integrated with the interior rearview mirror, and expected to come into mass production in 2024.

Yet in terms of solutions, currently few global Tier 1 suppliers deploy driving-parking integrated solutions that are hot in China, mainly because it takes them a period of about 2 or 3 years to launch the solutions after they put forward. One example is Continental’s Ambarella CV3-based L2+ solution which was announced in January 2021 but will not be production-ready until 2026.

To cope with the current passive position, global Tier 1 suppliers are also trying to seek changes. For example, Wave3, Bosch’s driving-parking integrated solution, is being developed simultaneously by the XC Division in China and the headquarters in Germany, of which the Chinese solution adopts dual Orin SoCs and is scheduled to be mass-produced in 2023 at the earliest; in June 2023, ZF announced the merger of the divisions for passenger car chassis technology and active safety technology to reduce the internal friction between divisions when making decisions and shorten the time-to-market of products and solutions. In the future, ZF may build a corporate architecture where the active safety integrates all the vehicle businesses such as cockpit and chassis.

2. 4D radars begin to find mass adoption, and global Tier 1 suppliers grab first-mover advantages.

According to our data, from January to May 2023, the overall installations of 4D radars in new passenger cars in China were 65,500 units, of which 35,700 units were front view and rear view radars, and 29,800 units were corner radars. Models confirmed to pack 4D radars include Rising Auto R7, Li Auto L7 Pro and AITO M5.

4D radars have passed through three development phases: infancy, growth and SOP.

Infancy: before 2022, foreign Tier 1 suppliers were the first to start upgrading from conventional 3D radar to 4D radar, for example, Continental went about developing ARS540 early in 2016.
Growth: during 2022-2024, Chinese suppliers set about deploying 4D radar products. For example, in 2022 Nova Electronics introduced 4D-S front radar and corner radar products, as well as a new 6-cascade product; Freetech released FVR40 in 2022.
SOP: beyond 2024, it is expected that 4D radars will begin to be spawned and mounted on vehicles.

Currently, 4D radars are still in the verification phase, and whether the installations will rise depends on the following:

(1) Verify the cost performance of 4D radars (replacing ordinary radars) used in low-level driving assistance solutions (L2-L2+). Examples include Aptiv’s satellite architecture-based sensing and computing system that supports L2 and L2+ with 5R5V12U.

(2) Verify the feasibility of 4D radars replacing LiDAR in high-level intelligent driving solutions (L2.5-L2.9, that is, supporting ADAS in highway NOA and city NOA).

3. China’s adjusted regulation allows CMS to be installed in vehicles, and the competition in the new market is fierce.

On July 1, 2023, the GB 15084-2022 Motor Vehicles - Devices for Indirect Vision - Requirements of Performance and Installation came into effect, specifying that Class M/N motor vehicles are allowed to carry electronic rearview mirrors to replace conventional optical exterior rearview mirrors.

At present, a number of global Tier 1 suppliers, Chinese suppliers and automakers have already made layout of CMS products. Wherein, the global Tier 1 suppliers that have unveiled/mass-produced CMS products include Continental, Magna and Valeo; Chinese suppliers include Autocruis, Voyager Technology, Foryou Group and Huawei.

On the whole, global Tier 1 suppliers start CMS layout a little earlier than Chinese companies, due to early introduction of regulations.

From a technical point of view, the mainstream CMS solution currently adopted by global Tier 1 suppliers is 2 CMS cameras + 2 OLED displays, that is, replace the left and right rearview mirrors with 2 rearview CMS cameras (generally wide-angle cameras). Another solution of 3 CMS cameras + 2 OLED displays + streaming rearview camera/center console screen is adopted by relatively few companies, as it involves additional technologies such as image stitching/correction. A typical case is Magna CLEARVIEW that adopts the solution of 3 CMS cameras + streaming media rearview mirror tiled display. Noticeably, Magna also proposed a solution of 2 CMS cameras + 2 OLED displays in 2017, but the product Magna actually produces in quantities is still the current 3CMS solution.

4. As decision products upgrade, a number of Tier 1 suppliers have launched cross-domain/central computing platforms.

As automotive architecture upgrades, the main control units of vehicle internal electronics have also evolved from hundreds of ECUs to several domain controllers. Next cross-domain computing platforms (e.g., cockpit-parking integrated domain controller and driving-parking integrated domain controller) will be used to meet the computing needs of vehicles. In the future, central computing platforms will be used to complete all the computing tasks and enable centralized E/E architecture.

In current stage, several global Tier 1 suppliers have released/iterated multi-domain/central computing platform solutions in 2022. In terms of time node, they are the next-generation alternative to domain controller products.

The early solutions include ZF ProAI, which has gone through several iterations, with the computing power increased from 1-10 TOPS to the current 20-1500 TOPS. The latest version of ProAI, scheduled to start volume production in 2024, enables cross-domain computing, packs ZF’s domain control middleware, and is optimized for deep learning. Aptiv, on the other hand, puts forward three solutions based on a cross-domain computing platform: a cross-domain computing platform + dual domain controllers, a cross-domain computing platform + three domain controllers, and a cross-domain computing platform + four domain controllers.