How Have Autonomous Vehicles Facilitated Drive by Wire Control Adoption?
The European Union (EU) aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles through its Regulation (EU) 2019/631. With this regulation, the EU aims to reach the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets of the Paris Agreement. Likewise, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to revise the existing national GHG emission standards for light trucks and passenger cars for model years 2023–2026. The toughening vehicle emission control norms will, therefore, encourage the adoption of drive by wire controls in vehicles, owing to their low weight.
Additionally, the ongoing advancements in autonomous vehicles will strengthen the drive by wire market during 2021–2030. According to P&S Intelligence, the market generated a revenue of $23 billion in 2020. The emergence of autonomous vehicles has transformed the automotive sector, as they offer improved safety, help reduce fuel consumption and GHG emissions, and manage traffic congestion efficiently. As these vehicles contain numerous sensors, they require a large number of electrical terminals and connections to operate such advanced features.
In recent years, drive by wire technology providers, such as Robert Bosch GmbH, Infineon Technologies AG, TRW Automotive Holdings Corp., ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Ficosa Internacional SA, Nissan Motor Corporation, DENSO CORPORATION, Kongsberg Group, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, and Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., have actively engaged in product development to offer improved mechanical control systems to automakers. For instance, in October 2020, Vitesco Technologies developed an overmolding control electronics, a new transmission control unit, that is lightweight, robust, and cost-effective.
Globally, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region dominated the drive by wire market in the preceding years due to the mounting disposable income of the middle-class population, soaring popularity of luxury and premium vehicles, flourishing automobile industry, and toughening vehicle emission control regulations in regional countries. For instance, the Indian government implemented the Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) emission norms in the country on 1 April 2020 to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles.
Therefore, the increasing implementation of vehicle emission control laws, surging EV and HEV sales, and ongoing developments in autonomous vehicles will accelerate the installation of drive by wire controls in vehicles in the upcoming years.