Cost effectiveness, environmental regulations and omnipresent electrification cause significant changes in the automotive industry. Find out how Sii Poland is taking part in this transformation by reading an expert article by Szymon Karaś, Head of Automotive Industry in Sii Poland.
The automotive industry has recently undergone great changes, probably the greatest since the invention of a combustion engine. The external factors such as environmental and political regulations, declining sales or the constant thrive towards efficiency and advanced features drive the inevitable and irreversible changes in the industry.
Cooperation for cost effectiveness
In order not to lag behind, the automakers need to adapt to the new conditions. This requires changing the mindset that has been developed decades ago. An Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that wants to prevail in this (compared for example to Hi-tech industry) low margin and very competitive environment, needs to become significantly more agile, more technologically oriented and open for closer cooperation than ever before.
Inventing the same solution by several companies at the same time is not cost effective. Developing new electric powertrains and batteries or various advanced driver assistance systems is way more efficient when companies join forces. This is what we are just witnessing now. OEMs are joining efforts to become industry giants and use common R&D budgets to thrive in this cost-cutting age.
Batteries of tomorrow
The electromobility is knocking on the door harder and harder, the die is cast and environmental regulations are becoming stricter year after year. Since 2021 an emission target for passenger cars in European Union is set to 95 grams per kilometer. The penalties are set to 95 Euros per each gram, for each vehicle over the target. These will add up very quickly driving the automakers to speed up their lineups electrification through offering more fully electric or hybrid vehicles. The whole industry may face an estimated 34 billion Euros in penalties.
Shifting to electric powertrains also requires great investments in battery technologies. The automotive battery market has seen a substantial growth in the last years. Besides, rapidly growing demand for electric vehicles forces the manufacturers to invest in the automotive components optimizing electricity consumption. This market will be further driven by tightening emission regulations followed by increased demand for electrified, full and mild hybrid powertrain systems.
One of the challenges facing the electromobility market today is the capacity and size of batteries. Adding up the battery systems to vehicles significantly rises their weight, which also affects their efficiency. The main development is currently focused on condensing as much energy as possible in the smallest space.
What also is a bane for the electromobility and the whole battery industry is the time of charging and problem of heat generation during this process. To overcome this challenge, new technological processes are being developed. This also includes software development.
Sii Poland actively takes part in the change. – For one of our clients: Impact Clean Power Technology, we have taken on the task of BMS are the electronic systems managing a rechargeable battery. The control is focused on protection of the battery pack or a cell to operate within its operating area, calculating and reporting data, controlling and monitoring its environment, authenticating and balancing it. The project Sii Poland was involved in included the review of quality assurance process: verification of requirements and detailed design documentation, refactoring of the existing code base and finally test execution along with measurement and collection of test metrics. The proposed solution allowed for standardizing the testing method and its implementation and provided Quality Assurance and insight into product’s inner mechanisms and way of working – says Szymon Karaś, Head of Automotive Industry in Sii Poland.
Cars too quiet for pedestrians
The shift from combustion engines to the electric powertrains is another significant change. The latter are considered to be very quiet, which can be quite beneficial, but at the same time the regulators think of it as a threat. A popular diesel or gasoline powered combustion engine delivers a significant blare both from the engine compartment side as well as the exhaust system. It is considered dangerous for the bystanders and pedestrians not to hear the vehicle coming towards them. That is why the Acoustic Vehicle Alert System will have to be installed in all electric and hybrid vehicles being introduced to the market since July 2019 and up till July 2021 fitted in all already existing models. The vehicles will have to make a sound traveling with speeds lower than 20km/h or reversing.
Sii Poland is involved in the development of such devices for a French carmaker. The project includes designing and creating software for electric cars to simulate sounds of moving vehicle for safety of pedestrians. From the Vehicle Sound Generator’s (VSG) architecture design, we are creating and implementing solutions for a sound path and processing including EQ, limiters, smoothers, pitch, etc. Sii is also integrating this solution with master application using CAN/RTE interfaces. Thanks to our solution, VSG can be controlled via application, sound is correctly read and played and can be altered by information of speed, EQ settings, direction and wave choice.
In these electrifying times Sii Poland acts as a partner and solution provider towards automotive OEMs and Tiers helping them to achieve their goals in terms of innovation and cost optimization. Newly created Automotive Industry division allows us to focus on delivering innovative solutions.
– We are focusing our knowledge and experience acquired for over a decade to create an Automotive offer dedicated to Tier 1 and 2 suppliers and directly for OEMs – says Szymon Karaś.
With strongly established embedded skillset – over a 100 low level developers, we are able to deliver to our customers cutting edge, modern solutions within the fields of active & passive safety, infotainment & connectivity, body control units, ADAS. So far, over 30 automotive companies trusted us with their projects, including Battery Management Systems which are the heart and soul of modern energy storage systems and Acoustic Vehicle Alert System, adhering to most strict regulations, enabling Sii Poland to shape the automotive market in terms of technology on the global level.
Find out more about our dedicated offer for the automotive sector.