New research is suggesting that the market for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems is going to grow significantly in China by the end of the decade.
ABI Research says that, while growth has up till now been largely confined to North America, Western Europe, and Japan, China is now “ramping up to become the centre of attention for domestic and foreign automotive manufacturers”, and that the market there will grow at roughly 40 per cent per year between 2017 and 2020.
“Once connected infotainment saturates China’s automotive market, domestic OEMs will turn toward ADAS solutions as the next market driver,” says James Hodgson, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “In many ways, the proliferation of ADAS in China will be a delayed reflection of the growth observed in other regions. Before the market can reach its full potential in China, however, regional automotive vendors need to educate consumers on the system benefits, adjust the price level to make it more accessible, and build its feature set to specifically target the concerns Chinese consumers have in regards to their safety.”
ABI adds that a number of leading automotive manufacturers are working hard to better align ADAS functionality with the Chinese consumer market. BMW in partnership with BAIDU, along with regional car manufacturers such as BAIC, are launching autonomous vehicle trials in China. These companies are then looking to apply what they learn from those trials to mainstream ADAS packages, identifying critical circumstances that Chinese drivers face on the roads and tweaking ADAS accordingly.
“Additionally, Nissan very recently started working with China’s Automotive Technology and Research Center to figure out how to best adapt Nissan’s lane keeping and collision avoidance technologies to suit the region’s driving habits,” continues Mr Hodgson. “The company understands that it can’t just copy what it did for Western and Japanese markets; it has to be intuitive and adapt this technology to specifically cater to Chinese consumers.”
ABI does say that it is important to note that ADAS adoption in China continues to grow at a relatively slower pace than other regions due to the system’s unaffordability. But that, as sensor costs continue to fall, ADAS will become far more accessible to China’s burgeoning middle class. As liability is of utmost importance to these consumers, there is a flourishing market for digital video recorders or dash cams, where ADAS features such as forward collision warning (FCW), vulnerable user detection (VUD), or lane departure warning (LDW) can be included as a key product differentiator.
“Nonetheless, the biggest disadvantage of aftermarket ADAS is the limited degree of integration within the vehicle,” he concludes. “The safety advantage of informative ADAS, however, is not to be overlooked, nor is the value of the aftermarket to educate consumers on the benefits of ADAS.”