Last week CES happened in Las Vegas, and immediately thereafter we had NAIAS in Detroit. There was some same cars presenting the same innovations. Not many years ago, CES was focused on mass market electronics and software, mainly for domestic applications, and NAIS was about new production and concept cars.
Car makers were not too interested in CES.
The arrival of EVs and ADAS began to blur the lines between electronics and cars, and even more with the development of autonomous cars. More generally, electronics has become a key focus area globally, with increased proliferation of electronics-based safety, navigation, entertainment, and convenience systems in vehicles. Many existing mechanical systems in the vehicles are also becoming electronically intelligent, and electronics are becoming an integral part of almost every vehicle system. CES is now becoming a key place for pioneering car makers to show off their newest innovations, especially to early-adopter types who have to have the newest stuff.
What should be the reaction of lighting suppliers to continue to stay at the top level in the automotive industry? I think there are three strategic directions:
1. To follow the development of ADAS and light source technologies which are bringing new opportunities: ADB, the most important innovation, which is followed by laser beam, matrix and then pixel or scanning beam, or even OLED. The new technologies should be an opportunity for lighting, not a threat. We have to continue accelerating our innovation.
2. To push hard to achieve harmonisation and synchronisation of regualtion, and mainly to minimise differences between UN and US rules, see in-depth article below. Development cycles are growing more and more compressed, ever shorter, and managing two development paths only because of different regulations is a big waste.
3. To continue and maybe accelerate the advertisement on new lighting technologies, using all the shows to present what wonderful things lighting is able to achieve. Presentations of Audi and BMW at CES are indeed a good example.
Many drivers are anxious to drive by night. We have not done enough to show that these new technologies will change their life when they drive by night.
DVN Editor in Chief