Imaging technology transforming step by step the automotive industry: Yole’s analysts announce 371 million automotive imaging devices in 2021

Imaging Technologies for Automotive 2016 report – Yole Développement – October 2016


  • Imaging technology, which is currently mainly cameras, is exploding into the automotive space, and is set to grow at % CAGR to reach US$7.3B in 2021.
  • Infotainment and ADAS propel automotive imaging.
  • Imaging will transform the car industry en-route to the self-driving paradigm shift.
  • A mazy technological roadmap will bring many opportunities.

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LYON, France – November 14, 2016: Imaging technology, which is currently mainly composed of visible, 3D and night vision cameras, is exploding into the automotive space. The “More than Moore” market research and strategy consulting company, Yole Développement (Yole) announces 20% CAGR between 2015 and 2021 in revenue: indeed, from a system perspective, revenue will reach US$7.3 billion in 2021.
Amongst the 9 market segments identified by Yole’s analysts, ADAS camera is the most important and will represent alone 51% in revenue in 2021. “For Display” cameras is also a critical application that will clearly foster the development of imaging technologies.
Yole proposes today a comprehensive technology & market report dedicated to the imaging technologies for automotive applications. Titled Imaging Technologies for Automotive 2016, this report reveals a clear understanding of imaging technologies, related applications and market forecasts. Yole’s analysts detail the related ecosystem and describe the competing landscape. Covering visible cameras, solid state lidars, LWIR cameras and 3D cameras, this report presents a technology roadmap from 2015 to 2021.
The automotive sector is facing a massive transformation driven by four key trends: environmental efficiencies, safety, digital connectivity and shared mobility. Imaging technologies are part of a sensing revolution. Yole’s analysts invite you to discover a snapshot of this innovative wind of changes in which autonomous driving is also a big part of the story.

Capitalizing on innovative technologies initially developed for smartphones, electronics has invaded step by step the automotive sector. Today, imaging technologies are taking center stage. “From less than one camera per car on average in 2015, there will be more than three cameras per car by 2021”, announces Pierre Cambou, Activity Leader, Imaging at Yole. “It means 371 million automotive imaging devices”.

Cameras were initially mounted for ADAS purposes on high-end vehicles, with deep learning image analysis techniques promoting early adoption. “The Israeli company Mobileye has been instrumental in bringing this technology to market, along with On Semiconductor, which provided the CMOS image sensor,” comments Dr Eric Mounier, Senior Analyst at Yole. And he adds: “Copycat competition will probably pick up as the market now justifies initial investment in design and technology.” It is now a well-established fact that vision-based AEB is possible and saves life. Adoption of forward ADAS cameras will therefore accelerate.

Growth of imaging for automotive is also being fueled by the park assist application, 360° surround view camera volume is therefore skyrocketing. While it’s becoming mandatory in the United-States to have a rearview camera by 2018, that uptake is dwarfed by 360° surround view cameras, which enable a “bird’s eye view” perspective. This trend is most beneficial to companies like Omnivision at sensor level and Panasonic and Valeo, which have become one the main manufacturers of automotive cameras.
Mirror replacement cameras are currently the big unknown and take-off will primarily depend on its appeal and car design regulation. Europe and Japan are at the forefront of this trend, which should become only slightly significant by 2021.

Solid state lidar is well talked about and will start to be found in high end cars by 2021. Cost reduction will be a key driver as the push for semi-autonomous driving will be felt more strongly by car manufacturers.

LWIR technology-based night vision cameras were initially perceived as a status symbol. However, they’re increasingly appreciated for their ability to automatically detect pedestrians and wildlife. LWIR solution will therefore become integrated into ADAS systems in future. From their side, 3D cameras will be limited to in-cabin infotainment and driver monitoring. This technology will be key for luxury cars and therefore is of limited use today.

A detailed description of the imaging technologies for automotive report is now available on website, imaging reports section.

CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
ADAS : Automotive Driver Assistance System
LWIR : Long-Wavelength InfraRed
CMOS : Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
AEB : Autonomous Emergency Braking

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