Research Report on Modular Platforms and Technology Planning of Global and Chinese Automakers, 2022


Research on car manufacturers’ platforms and their planning: the strategic layout orientations of 32 car manufacturers. Right now, the global automotive industry is in the midst of profound changes not seen in a century.

New York, June 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — announces the release of “Global and Chinese Automakers’ Modular Platforms and Technology Planning Research Report, 2022” –
This can be demonstrated extensively through energy, power system, E/E architecture, intelligence and connectivity, application scenarios, user experience, etc In this context, the major car manufacturers are modifying their strategic layout. They work hard on key areas ranging from automotive manufacturing platforms, E/E architecture and software platforms to autonomous driving, smart cockpit and electrification, and attract consumers and satisfy their needs with differentiated products.

1. Automakers continue to upgrade their modular platform architectures.

Modular platforms remain superior to increase component universality and reduce R&D and production costs. At present, most car manufacturers have their own modular platforms, or even several platforms. The modular architecture surpasses a modular platform. It is an extension and expansion of the platform concept. With greater component universality and scalability, the modular architecture is compatible with vehicles of different power classes and types. Automakers have therefore begun a gradual transition from the modular platform to the modular architecture.

The modular architecture promotes higher productivity, lower procurement/manufacturing costs and shorter R&D cycles. At the current stage, the component generalization rate in GAC Global Platform Modular Architecture (GPMA) exceeds 60%, compared to 70% in Geely Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) and 70%-80% in Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA).

Currently, automakers in China are deploying modular architectures relatively early. Among them, BYD, Geely, Chery and Changan Automobile have launched their own modular architectures. Modular architecture launches from foreign peers focus on the 2024-2025 period.

Using Volkswagen as an example, the company plans to eventually integrate its platforms into SSP, a scalable mechatronic platform architecture applicable to all Volkswagen makes and models. In the future, all makes and models at all levels under Volkswagen will be built on this super platform.

2. The EEA tends to be centralized.

As part of E/E architecture planning, most automakers plan to deploy centralized E/E architectures for vehicles:
GAC plans to install “Protoss” centralized I/O architecture in high-end Aion 2023 models;
Hongqi plans to launch its near-core FEEA3.0 architecture in 2023;
Great Wall Motor plans to introduce its GEEP 5.0 core computing architecture in 2024;
Changan Automobile is expected to complete the development of its centralized domain architecture in 2025.

For example, GAC has upgraded its E/E architecture in all aspects and developed the Protoss E/E architecture, its new vehicle cloud-integrated E/E architecture that enables centralized computing and is on the verge of out in 2023 at the earliest. This architecture consists of three groups of main computers, i.e. a central computer, an intelligent driving computer and an infotainment computer, and four zone controllers. The intelligent driving domain carries Huawei Ascend 610, a 400TOPS high-performance chip.

3. Automakers are transforming from independent software platform developers to software service providers.

As autonomous driving and intelligent connectivity explode, major automakers have launched a new round of transformation and upgrading centered on “software-defined vehicles”. Some are transforming into software service providers by creating software divisions/subsidiaries, independently developing operating systems (OS) and creating software platforms.

Compared to the turnkey model in which Tier 1 suppliers fully support the conventional vehicle supply chain, automotive brands are now taking a more active part. Joint R&D and flat cooperation are gradually blurring the boundaries of the supply chain ecosystem and also diversifying business model needs. Modular services must therefore be provided to meet the individual needs of automotive brands with differentiated configurations for different vehicle models. For example, Bosch adopts hardware modularization + middleware layer generalization + software individualization model and adjusts the parameters to quickly meet the needs of different functions.

Volkswagen is a typical automaker that develops software itself. In 2019, Volkswagen created a software division and planned to increase the internal share of automotive software development from less than 10% to at least 60% in the next five years. In 2021, Volkswagen transformed the software division into CARIAD, a joint-stock company that will be responsible for independently developing the VW.OS automotive operating system and creating the E3 software platform. In April 2022, CARIAD announced its Chinese strategy. Its Chinese subsidiary was then created.

In addition to Volkswagen, GM, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, SAIC and others have also started to develop operating systems themselves and deploy their own software platforms, aiming to move from a manufacturer automobile to a software service provider. Toyota, which recently acquired automotive operating system provider Renovo Motors, plans to roll out its own operating system, Arene, in 2025.

4. OEM L3 automated driving goes live.

Mainstream automakers are deploying autonomous driving in the following ways:
• Invest in the acquisition of self-driving startups
• Partnership with major technology companies
• Cooperation with other OEMs
• Self-development, or a combination of the above means

Based on this, these automakers have also introduced their own autonomous driving assistance systems, including Volkswagen IQ.Drive, Toyota Advanced Drive, Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot, Geely G-Pilot and GAC ADiGO. Among them, Mercedes-Benz is the first automaker in the world to comply with UN regulation UN-R157. Mercedes-Benz released its L3 Drive Pilot automated driving system in Germany in May 2022, and announced that it will be liable for accidents caused by the system when it is activated.

Configuration of the sensors of the Mercedes-Benz Drive Pilot:
• 1 LiDAR
• 1 long range radar
• 4 short range radars
• 1 stereo camera
• 1 reversing camera
• 1 driver surveillance camera in the vehicle
• 1 differential GPS
Configuration of automated parking sensors:
• 4 panoramic cameras
• 12 ultrasonic sensors

5. Intelligent cockpit interconnection platforms connect vehicles, people and everything, playing a bigger role.

As the internet grows, major automakers are showing a lot of enthusiasm for smart cockpits. Almost all of them have deployed different smart cockpit interconnect platforms as selling points, aiming to attract consumers. Examples include BMW iDrive and Mercedes-Benz MBUX, BYD DiLink and Geely GKUI.
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