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Automotive Trends Insights From EV Battery and In-Cabin Experts

Yasmine King, Vice President, Automotive Cabin Experience at Analog Devices

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the automotive industry, the spotlight is shifting towards a pivotal element that will redefine the driving experience for future car owners in 2024—the in-cabin environment. Yasmine King, Vice President for Automotive Cabin Experience at Analog Devices, sheds light on this transformative shift, emphasizing that the era of merely purchasing a car is waning; the focus is now on acquiring a lasting and immersive experience.

While electric vehicles (EVs) face challenges such as range limitations, the differentiation among vehicles is shifting toward the in-cabin domain. Car manufacturers are recognizing the need to deliver personalized, immersive experiences that extend beyond entertainment. The contemporary car buyer seeks an extension of their home and office environments within their vehicles, demanding cutting-edge, digitally connected, and interactive cabin features.

As sustainability becomes a key consideration for consumers, reducing material consumption within the cabin emerges as a critical aspect of brand differentiation. King stresses the importance of in-cabin technologies in addressing this by promoting modular and flexible platforms that contribute to recyclability and lighter cabins, ultimately reducing the overall weight of the vehicle.

In response to changing preferences, automakers are adapting by integrating advanced technologies into the cabin environment. Voice, touch, haptics, and gesture controls are taking precedence over traditional interfaces, transforming the car into a technologically advanced asset. The emphasis is not only on entertainment but also on enhancing productivity within the cabin.

As vehicles evolve into sophisticated computers on wheels, data management and processing become paramount. Yasmine King emphasizes the significance of edge processing, bringing computing power closer to the data source. This approach ensures faster processing, reduced latency, and improved security and privacy, essential for the interconnected and data-driven future of automobiles.

However, the integration of technology must not compromise safety. Automakers must prioritize creating vehicles that augment sensory awareness, reduce distractions, fatigue, and road fatalities. Yasmine King underscores the importance of reliable real-time data connectivity, especially in safety functions, to ensure driver liability is minimized, enhancing public safety.

The future of the automotive industry lies in intelligent, connected, and environmentally friendly vehicles. The collaboration between original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and technology leaders is crucial in paving the way for this future, where cars become not just modes of transportation but holistic experiences that prioritize sustainability, safety, and innovation.

Automotive Industries caught up with Yasmine King, Vice President, Automotive Cabin Experience at Analog Devices and asked, why will the in-cabin experience be the most important differentiator for future car owners in 2024?  Yasmine King, Vice President for Automotive Cabin Experience at Analog Devices explains how are people’s priorities changing when it comes to EVs?

King: Range is frequently cited as one of the main obstacles to the general adoption of EVs. But it’s not the only element influencing someone’s decision to transition to electric. Eventually, most cars will be competing within the same few miles, so how can brands differentiate themselves? They’ll be focused on the in-cabin environment, immersive and personalized experiences, safety and incremental value/services offered by the vehicle throughout its lifetime. Fundamentally, it’s not simply about purchasing a car anymore – it’s about purchasing an experience. One that lasts for many years.

Furthermore, as car buyers are increasingly making better-informed choices on the sustainability footprint of their vehicles – wherever there are opportunities to reduce material consumption within the cabin such as copper and plastic insulation, that further adds to the brand differentiation. So, it is important for in-cabin technologies to address this – by reducing material consumption, delivering modular and flexible platforms that can be reused or recycled more easily, and a lighter cabin that reduces overall vehicle weight.

Automotive Industries: How are automakers adapting to these changing preferences?

King: People will want their cars to become an extension of their homes and office environments. That makes cutting-edge, digitally connected and interactive cabin environment a “must-have feature”. Voice, touch, haptics and gesture are becoming the main modality of interaction with the car, over traditional buttons and knobs. People will demand a more immersive and personalized cabin environment, filled with high-definition displays, infotainment features, high-fidelity audio, voice-based functionalities and more. And it is not just entertainment, the cabin environment should also aid in productivity as needed. For the contemporary car buyer, apps, user interface, and audio and video features will be just as important as the traditional dynamics around design, and comfort. The car might as well be the most technologically advanced asset most of us would own in our lifetime.

Automotive Industries: As cars become computers, what challenges do you foresee in relation to data management and processing?

King: All this technology is underpinned by data. This will generate crippling demand across V2X communication networks. Luckily edge processing can help, by bringing computing power closer to where the data is generated. The result will be faster processing, reduced latency, and improved security and privacy. The intelligent edge is particularly relevant for automotive connectivity, in addition to electrification. At ADI we understand this better than anyone. Our broad portfolio of low latency, high bandwidth automotive connectivity solutions support multi-nodal edge processing for various data use cases, enabling the ‘nervous system’ of the vehicle. Our eco-conscious innovations in connectivity also reduce the overall requirement of cabling and power. These are critical to further advance sustainability as well as reduce the vehicle weight to enable a higher EV range.

Automotive Industries: How can we ensure cars are safe with all this technology in play?

King: Automakers cannot sacrifice driver safety in the pursuit of innovative technology, of course. They will need to be able to demonstrate their vehicle is the safest on the market. They’ll need to create vehicles that augment sensory awareness to enhance transportation safety, reduce driving distractions, fatigue and road fatalities. This relates to the operability of safety functions as much as the tasks they perform. For instance, cameras are a safety device, to provide the driver with information about objects or people that are located around the vehicle. However, real-time video data connectivity is required to display information from cameras to the driver; you don’t want your backup camera display to turn off, or deliver lagged-imagery, when you put the car in reverse. Ensuring this link operates reliably all the time is essential to reduce driver liability and increase public safety.

Automotive technology teams are clearly committed to developing the sector and creating closer partnerships between OEMs and technology leaders. This will pave the way for a future of more intelligent, connected, and most importantly environmentally friendly vehicles.

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