Information & Communication Technologies

Frost & Sullivan Viewpoint - CES 2017 Automotive Trends & Expectations Roundup

by Praveen Chandrasekar 02 Jan 2017
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Cost Effective LIDAR Sensing Might Steal the Show

January is fast approaching and the first thing on the mind of anyone associated with the automotive industry is the Consumer Electronics Show, held in Las Vegas. The show where close to 20 percent space or close to 200,000 Sqft dedicated to automotive technologies and despite the crazy crowd, impossible to keep routines and the noise has just gobbled up many of the major auto shows to become one of the most important shows for the automotive industry specifically technologies showcased around connected and automated driving. From Delphi/Mobileye to Hyundai to Rinspeed, automated driving demonstrations are going to be galore this time at the event.

Frost & Sullivan’s mobility practice has been a regular at the event for the past many years and we have been publishing pre-event expectations, blogs live from the event, video interviews and product demonstrations live from the event and most importantly a very detailed report post event around the key technology trends, themes and automaker level outlook and so-what analysis.

This year five senior members of the Frost & Sullivan team are attending CES including Sarwant Singh, Senior Partner and Global Head of Mobility, Franck Leveque, Partner and Head of EIA and Americas Mobility, Robert Merlotti, SVP of Growth Consulting, Mobility Americas, Praveen Chandrasekar, Director Consulting Americas Mobility and Ajit Chander, Director Business Development, Americas Mobility. This blog is meant to provide an overview of what some of the key expectations are from the event this time around.

Frost & Sullivan expects the following themes to be on showcase this year at CES

1)      Automated Driving showcases by select OEMs, e.g. Nissan and Hyundai

2)      Cost Effective Solid-State LIDAR for Automated Driving, e.g. LeddarTech 2D and 3D Solid State LIDAR

3)      Showcases of Deep Learning and AI by automakers and tier 1 suppliers, e.g. Denso

4)      Innovative HMI concepts, e.g. BMW HoloActive Touch HMI

5)      New Connected Services, e.g. Audi V2I Service in US

6)      Partnerships and Collaborations, e.g. FCA & Waymo

Automated Driving Showcases

Select automakers like Nissan and Hyundai who have been quiet thus far on their automated driving plans are expected to showcase the respective features, specifications and market roadmap.

  • Hyundai will showcase its Ioniq with automated driving features on both the hybrid and electric variants. Neatly integrated prototypes unlike those Lexus SUV’s outfitted with ugly cameras, the Ioniq’s automated driving variants work using a number of sensors ranging three long range LIDAR’s to long and short range radars in front and rear, four front facing cameras including stereoscopic cameras and Mobileye/TRW mono camera. These massive sensor arrays are meant as a way to create multi-layer redundancy and it is tough to expect these sensors making it into a production Hyundai car because of the cost. The demonstration is expected to be close to SAE Level 4 in terms of all the maneuver’s the vehicle can do but it is expected to be on a pre-designated loop. As Hyundai executives put they are not in the race to be the first but want to showcase the safest automated driving experience.
  • Nissan is expected to showcase advancements on its Pro Pilot level 2 system that was introduced earlier in the year in Japan that does same lane handling of the vehicle.
  • Delphi is expected to showcase its partnership with Mobileye on a 6 mile demonstration – system dubbed “Centralized Sensing Localization and Planning” where the key highlight is expected to be the system’s ability to localize even without GPS. This system is also meant for Mobileye to showcase improvements in its Road Experience Management mapping effort where it was announced today that they are partnering with HERE, the leading HD maps and location cloud vendor.
  • Ford is expected to showcase its second generation Ford Fusion automated vehicle with just two LIDAR sensors and an updated computing platform. This is expected to feature traffic jam assist but also expected on showcase are possible L4 functionalities.
  • Quite a few concept cars are expected to be showcased which will feature the convergence of electrification, automated driving, health wellness, interior of the features, vehicle to home connectivity including Honda (NeuV), Mercedes Benz Concept EQ, Rinspeed Oasis and so on.

Cost Effective Solid-State LIDAR for Automated Driving

Solid-state LIDAR is going to be talked about for the second year in a row at CES with the only difference being a new set of players in the field. In addition to usual suspects like Velodyne and Quanergy this time around LeddarTech, startups like Blackmore Sensor and Analytics and tier 1 suppliers like Continental are expected to make the noise around LIDAR. Some of the interesting themes to be showcased are

  • Velodyne’s low cost solid-state LIDAR and sensing model. This coming from the most trusted LIDAR player currently could be a game changer for volume automakers.
  • New solid-state 2D and 3D LIDARs with ranges of 200-300m will be unveiled by LeddarTech still chasing an aggressive price point of close to $100. With improved range, FOV and an ecosystem of partners and demonstrations on OEM vehicles like FCA, this Quebec-based company is fast scaling up the ranks.
  • Collaborating with LeddarTech will be TriLumina, a spin-out from Sandia National Laboratories who will showcase a 256-Pixel 3D solid state LIDAR. The two companies are also expected to showcase its partnership efforts utilizing LeddarTech’s LeddarCore IC’s and TriLumina’s laser illumination model.
  • Suppliers like Osram are expected to showcase its low cost solid-state LIDAR for under $100. Suppliers like Pioneer are expected to unveil more details around their LIDAR and sensing plans.
  • Startups like Blackmore Sensor and Analytics who recently closed their Series A funding of $3.5 million will showcase a new line up of frequency-modulated continuous-wave LIDAR that functions more like a Radar system.
  • Tier 1 suppliers like Continental are also expected to showcase its 3D flash LIDAR that are expected to support ADAS to level 4/5 automated driving functions.

Besides LIDAR, showcases are also expected around another crucial area of HD maps and this time around startups like Civil Maps will be accompanying giants like HERE. Civil maps in particular will be showcasing its crowdsourced and AI based HD map platform where the key USP is expected to be size of the solution.

Also interestingly passive safety giants like Autoliv who have made a deliberate attempt to aggressively grow in the active safety and automated driving game will be showcasing its self-driving technologies this time.

Deep Learning and AI Showcases

Honda has one of the more conservative OEMs when it comes to many innovation areas including autonomous driving. At CES 2017 the brand is expected to showcase NeuV, an automated EV commuter concept that uses AI to offer what is called an emotion engine. Co-developed with Softbank with AI technologies developed by SB corp, the idea is close to the project “Pepper” that was launched by Softbank in earlier 2016, which is a personal robot with its own emotions and ability to understand other’s emotions. Honda is expected to showcase similar type of AI developments applied in the autonomous mobility sense. Besides Honda, NVIDIA is expected to announce developments around the Drive PX2 and its recent partnership with Tesla on its new self-driving hardware that allows Level 4 automated driving. OEMs like Ford who are presenting a 2nd generation Ford Fusion with new electrical architecture and just 2 LIDAR sensors are also expected to showcase developments around deep learning and AI. Audi is also expected to showcase developments around deep learning utilizing the zFAS architecture on the Q2. Besides this several startup and smaller companies are expected to showcase efforts around AI specifically for automated driving including AImotive, Civil Maps building AI-based HD maps, Denso, Mobileye, Tata Elxsi who will showcase Autonomai a middleware platform for automated driving with deep learning capabilities essentially built to support integration of many sensors, etc.

Innovative HMI Showcases

From suppliers to OEMs, CES has been a platform to demonstrate the future of user interaction in the car. BMW last year showcased the production version of air gestures which was eventually launched in the market on the 7 Series. This year BMW will showcase HoloActive Touch System, a virtual touchscreen also a free floating display that is operated using air gestures with tactile feedback provided to the driver. A bit out of Minority Report this system is several notches up compared to the simple air gesture system demonstrated by BMW last year and uses a camera to detect the drivers hand gestures that is operated on a virtual touch screen projected at the steering wheel level. Several other HMI innovations are expected specifically from suppliers like Visteon, Continental and Mitsubishi Electric, Bosch and so on.

  • Visteon for example is showcasing its line-up of fully digital and hybrid instrument clusters with cameras. Additionally the company is also showcasing AR enabled HUDs and four levels of combiner HUD that is specifically created for volume vehicles. Also showcased is an OLED based curved dual display similar to what Bosch developed for Daimler with dual projections for the driver and passenger.
  • Bosch the leading tier 1 supplier is showcasing several solutions related to mobility of the future which includes a ton of user interaction related innovations. Starting with facial recognition and personalization based on an inward looking driver monitor camera that personalizes a lot of the interior settings and also serves as a driver drowsiness detection camera. The company is also showcasing haptic feedback on touchscreens called NeoSense (awarded the best solution at CES 2016), OLED displays, Digital camera based mirrors replacing traditional mirrors, a clear handoff mechanism between the driver and the automated module with clear instructions. All of this will be showcased in a concept vehicle that Bosch will demonstrate at the show.
  • Closely mimicking Bosch will be Continental with the differentiation coming from the use of Biometrics in a two factor authentication system (with passive start) that also utilizes an interior camera for personalization and driver monitoring using face recognition. Additionally Continental will also showcase innovations around 3D displays and innovative glass concepts.

New Connected Services

Besides automated driving we are going to witness a few more innovations around cooperative driving and new-generation infotainment systems.

  • Audi will showcase a first of its kind V2I service of the vehicle interacting with traffic lights that will be offered later this year in select 2017 Audi models like A4 and Q7 starting with Las Vegas. Partnering with Traffic Technology Services (TTS) Audi will provide a time to green feature that will show the time remaining to green in the instrument cluster with future possibilities in using this information around start./stop systems, navigation systems and in the automated module.
  • Visteon is showcasing Phoenix, an automotive grade infotainment app platform with cybersecurity and SDK for rapid app development.
  • Inrix post its acquisition of OpenCar will showcase the combined cloud based connected and contextual platform with driving optimized content.
  • Continental will be showcasing a cloud addition to its infotainment system that acts a digital personal assistant for the driver but also uses the data around to deliver contextual intelligence to the driving experience and enable in rapid deployment of apps and content across models globally for OEMs.
  • Daimler is also expected to showcase a lot of innovation around connected services on its concept vehicle touching on areas like health wellness, etc.

Partnerships and Collaborations

CES has never been much about announcing partnerships and collaborations of a giant scale. The ones that used to be showcased were minor ones of startups partnering with tier 1 supplier around specific areas like Cybersecurity and so on but this time we are going to witness a few changes to this

  • FCA is expected to showcase its partnership with Waymo on the Pacifica and details around the recently delivered 100 vehicles fitted with Waymo technology. The vehicles that have been tested in Michigan, Arizona and California are the first real collaboration for Waymo (Google) on the OEM side. The company is also reportedly started talks with Honda for a similar partnership.
  • Samsung post its acquisition of Harman is expected to showcase the future of this combined entity and how they are going to play in the automotive and consumer domains. Harman is already reportedly working with Microsoft on building an Echo competitor using Cortana on its luxury speaker lineup.
  • HERE and Mobileye might further elaborate on a collaboration that was just announced last week. This partnership entails HERE using Mobileye’s Roadbook roadway level information, Mobileye getting access to HERE’s open location platform and HERE finally getting access to raw sensor data from vehicles equipped with Mobileye’s REM technology which for now happens to be VW and maybe GM as announced last year at CES. This partnership sounds a true win-win for the automated driving game in creation of highly robust HD maps that are also uptodate and dynamic.

Besides the ones listed above, there are other interesting announcements expected from the likes of Faraday Future expected to unveil its first production luxury BEV, one it has been teasing for the last month on racing circuit videos and glimpses of interiors. And interestingly the video from Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche thanking the employees and staff for a wonderful 2016 features an interesting comment about how electric mobility is now firmly on the sights of the German luxury brands and how the time is right to go ballistic on investments in electric powertrains. Interestingly there is another school of thought that believes that most of the current suite of German auto brands got the BEV strategy wrong and it took one Tesla to pave the way now for three EV startups Lucid Motors, Faraday Future, NextEV, all of whom are trying to do what Tesla managed to do beautifully and aggressively – build a premium brand around BEV’s that have equally if not more performance than ICE engine vehicles. Whatever be the criticism on these startups on their funding or ability to keep up with the commitments and deadlines fact remains that they are trying to build the next generation of electric luxury experience that is far more connected and automated and are very aggressive.

Frost & Sullivan will be publishing blogs on a regular basis from the show and we will also follow up the show with a detailed and dynamic takeaways and impact report highlighting all the companies, announcements and what it means to the market. This report will be loaded with images and video interviews and product demonstrations similar to our earlier versions and will be done in two weeks from the event. Here is a link to the summary of the 2016 CES reportà..\K090-01-01-00-00.pdf . Please message me if you want to meet us at the event at


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Comments (3)

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26 Mar 2019 01:34
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By  zunto Eerk

27 Jan 2019 10:09
Thanks Praveen. Love this trend analysis article. Fred from

By  Poornima Vijayan
Business Analyst Trainee, Cognizant

11 Jun 2017 01:36
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