Microelectronics content in cars continues to rise, ZVEI says

December 02, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The global demand for automotive semiconductors will continue to grow at a steady pace. For 2016, the German industry association ZVEI expects a moderate but steady growth of 4.0%. With the Connected Car becoming more and more a reality, the issue of data ownership increasingly takes centre stage.

At the meeting of the ZVEI Automotive competence group in Munich, ZVEI president Michael Ziesemer highlighted innovation in automotive design today takes place in the microelectronics and software domain. “80 percent of the innovation in cars today goes on the account of electronics and algorithms” Ziesemer said. Digitisation and connectivity play an increasing role in the market of automotive electronics which currently has a volume of some $35 billion worldwide. For 2016, the ZVEI expects that 80 percent of all new vehicles will be connected to some kind of a cloud or background IT infrastructure.

Ziesemer pointed out that while the data generated by the sensors in the cars can be applied in very useful ways, they however could also be abused by breaking data privacy. The ZVEI takes data privacy concerns very seriously, Ziesemer said, adding that a discussion is needed to clarify who owns these data – car owner, driver, car manufacturer, or service provider – and to which purposes they should be allowed to use. The industry association called in this context for transparency, the possibility of the concerned person to influence the usage of these data, security and simplicity, all needed to foster the acceptance of digitisation. “A precondition for trust is cyber security”, Ziesemer added.

The German industry is particularly depending on the automotive industry: 44% of the sales of the German microelectronics industry are related to automotive customers. Since the year 2000, the value of the semiconductor content of cars has doubled to reach $400 in 2014. An end of the trend is not in sight. Today, 30 percent of the production value of a car are related to semiconductors.

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