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Study: Automotive industry lacks drive to innovate

Posted: 30 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:automotive? OEM? electronics? biometric? hydrogen technology?

The automotive industry in Germany is more reluctant to innovations than any other industries. This is the core statement of a study conducted by Invensity GmbH, a technology consulting company.

"Cost pressure and reliability requirements can act as the major obstacles for innovative designs toward mass production in the automotive realm," said Utz T?uber, automotive expert, Invensity. For the study, he interviewed 100 development team leaders, R&D managers and design engineers from automotive OEMs and tier ones in Germany. Forty six percent of them said that in the automotive industry, innovations are more difficult to implement than in other industries, while only 26 percent are convinced that the automotive industry is more innovation-prone than other industries. According to the study, while cost pressure frequently inhibits innovative approaches, it can also work as a catalyst for innovation if it is combined with competition pressure.

Future insights
Beyond generic considerations, the study also unearthed some interesting assessments relevant to automotive electronics industry. For instance, a relative majority of 32 percent of the experts interviewed believe hybrid drives will prevail in 2030not the diesel technology which is currently the favorite of all German OEMs. Only 8 percent of the insiders think that diesel drives will have a future. Twenty three percent of them bet on hydrogen as the fuel of the future.

Similarly, 47 percent of the experts said that hydrogen technology would make the strongest contribution to the reduction of emissions. Many engineers see improvements in battery technology as significant contributor to this end. They added batteries in the car are that change most significantly through innovation, followed by drive section and safety equipment. They noted that navigation and telematics are seen as major gateways for automotive innovation.

Forecast by 2015
In terms of future additional electronic equipment, steering assistants are the favorite of the experts, where 46 percent of them believed it would be standard in luxury cars by 2015. External video cameras, night vision equipment and anti-collision radar are likely to be found in expensive cars in the near future. Nineteen percent of the engineers even are expecting that biometric identification devices embedded in the steering wheel as a feature in the future.

When it comes to globalization, German automotive creators bet heavily on the China market. They said this geography would expose the strongest growth by 2015, with India and Eastern Europe, including Russia ranking second and third. At the same time, two thirds of all interviewees said China would be the strongest potential competitor, followed by India.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe





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