SBD Automotive’s event research team has just returned from
the preview days of the Shanghai Auto Show with some initial thoughts on this
year’s hot topics and emerging trends.
This show has evolved drastically in the last 10 years,
becoming an arena for global OEMs and fast-growing start-ups to showcase their
most innovative concepts and designs.
In previous years, electric or hybrid model announcements at Shanghai have been mostly by start-up OEMs, like NIO. But, at Shanghai 2019, we are seeing more traditional, long-standing OEMs like Volkswagen, Audi, and even Aston
Martin, announcing and showing their new electric vehicle models.
SBD says - China is the world’s most successful country in terms of number of EVs sold. The market was kickstarted
by the government’s development of an extensive environmental policy, leading
to massive supply-side subsidies which helped OEMs and Tier 1s secure funding
for new factories and for production of the vehicles themselves. Although this
policy period has undoubtedly jumpstarted the industry, the costs of the
subsidies are becoming unsustainable. Instead of a gradual incentive
withdrawal plan, the government recently announced an immediate 50% reduction
with the plan to end all subsidies by the end of 2020. In addition, they urged
all local governments to end their incentive programs, effective immediately.
This move will add a significant amount (tens of thousands of RMB) to the cost of each vehicle produced.
Will OEMs be able to pass this additional cost on to customers, or will they have
to absorb it? Next week’s SBD Insight will be covering EV subsidies in more detail.
Most OEMs at the show have Virtual Personal Assistants as part of the connected car offerings. Some are now offering animated VPA icons, highlighting the improved integration between VPA and vehicle.
SBD says - The
chief benefit of a VPA is that consumers can interact with a digital device in
a manner which is hands-free and demands a relatively low-cognitive workload.
Positive consumer attitudes to
automotive VPAs are growing, but what consumers deem as “intuitive” does not
fit into a “one-size-fits-all” model, and OEMs are experimenting with a huge variety of form factors, voices, intelligence and personality. You can find out more about automotive VPAs here.
increased adoption of passenger displays has been evident at the show. Lixiang,
BAIC, Hozon & BYD have all demonstrated passenger displays. Most of these displays
can interact with content from the central main display, benefiting from the recent trend towards cockpit domain controllers that allow information to be easily shared and transferred between displays.
SBD says - The
China automotive market has more new vehicle launches and facelifts per month
than any other region. International and domestic OEMs are constantly breaking
new ground in head-units, with innovative connectivity and UX features – many of which are not yet seen in other markets.
Biometrics is not just being used for security.
Biometrics, the analysis and measurement of human condition and behaviour, is certainly not new to the automotive industry but, in previous shows, biometric technologies were mainly demonstrated as concepts. At Shanghai 2019, we have seen the implementation of facial recognition by Chang’an & Chery EXEED, vocal print by BAIC, and fingerprint by Hyundai.
In-vehicle adoption of biometric technology at the show has not just been used in an attempt to make cars more secure. We are seeing it used for authentication & personalization, where customized services and content can be offered to end-users.
continue to show their importance this year, and we’re seeing OEMs, traditional
Tier-1 suppliers, and start-up AI companies all demonstrating new products.
OEMs – Audi’s head-turning AI:ME EV concept with L4 autonomous driving capability. ICONIQ Motor demonstrated their L5 MUSE, and Hanteng, Great Wall and Weltmeister demonstrated their L3+ models.
Tier 1s – Aptive announced its autonomous driving technical center, Bosch demonstrated autonomous systems, NXP announced cooperation with eHawkeys, and ZF demonstrated Pro AI RoboThink.
Start-ups – Horizon Robotics, Velodyne, Holomatic, and Piny.ai all demonstrated their autonomous products and solutions.
SBD says - Cars
will need less driver support as autonomous systems become more capable, but
for the foreseeable future, they will need a driver as a backup.
We’re not just talking about the Robotaxis of the future, these are cars that
can be purchased now, cars that are an over-the-air update away from being able
to, in certain circumstances, cover significant parts of a journey without
driver supervision. Are drivers ready for this?
For many journeys, the ‘drivers’ of these SAE Level 3/4 vehicles will have no need to monitor traffic situations ahead, vehicle locations around
them, even the route they are taking. But, in an emergency, the driver will
need to take control of the vehicle, understand which functions the vehicle is
still handling and which it isn’t, which systems are active, and take in why
the vehicle needs assistance in the first place. Unfortunately, benchmarking has shown that the way vehicle and driver
interact with each other, the HMI, is currently woefully inadequate for
Compared to previous Shanghai Auto Shows, where internet companies such as Baidu, Alibaba & Tencent (BAT) attended by establishing tentative partnerships with OEMs, we are now starting to see a rapid adoption of their operating systems and related services, much in the same way that Google is trying with Android Automotive and its GAS services in the rest of the world.
Baidu – IOV OShas been deployed in the Chery EXEED, Ford Escape and Haval H6.
Alibaba – AliOS demonstrated a HUD & cockpit concept; AliOS and Banma are being demonstrated by OEMs that have adopted these systems into their models.
Tencent – TAI (Tencent Auto Intelligence) has been deployed by GAC, Chang’an, Dongfeng Liuqi & FCA. In addition, Chang’an & Tencent's joint venture Wutong has launched its Tinnove system.
"With our local office in China, we can keep pace with the fast changes in the China market, the new technologies, and the changes to consumer demands and preferences" says Victor Zhang, Director of SBD Automotive's China office. "It allows us to see the inside effects. We don’t just see what happens, we can see how and why. It helps us provide our clients with the most accurate and up-to-date information, improving the quality of SBD’s services globally. We can talk to more OEMs and consumers, we get to have a unique viewpoint of how the market is changing. It allows us to see, from the top of the mountain, how everyone is reacting, letting us see through the hype and helping us to bring clarity to our clients. This is a big part of where our value resides. It is easy to be blinded if you only see from an outsider's perspective."
To find out more about the in-depth research behind these
insights, follow the blue links at the bottom of each trend to request a free
sample of the full Research Report that influenced it.