Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Automotive Cameras as a Next Big Market

Reuters publishes an article on automotive camera market potential, largely based on views of Mcnex, Korea's biggest car camera vendor. High-end cars carry as many as eight cameras supporting wide range of applications from parking to emergency braking. Eventually, this number can reach 12 when cameras replace side-view mirrors. Once these camera technologies reache mid- and lower-end cars, the market can grow seven-fold from 2011 to nearly $6.6B in 2018, according to TSR.

Automotive cameras have to be far more robust than camera phones. They must withstand tests that include days of submersion in water and 1,000 hours of cycling temperature within seconds between -40C to +85C. "Vehicle cameras are completely different from mobile cameras in terms of specifications. Phone camera makers have had to face a steep learning curve," said Lee Hyo-cheol, a principal research engineer at Korean auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis.

"It is very difficult to enter the automotive camera market from supplying mobile phone cameras, especially the complicated front camera market," IHS senior analyst Helena Perslow. Cameras for cars are priced around $32 each compared with $4 for phones, according to Mcnex, which earned 19 percent of revenue last year from car cameras versus 2 percent in 2007. Prices could fall, however, as volume grows.

About 83M car cameras are likely to be sold in 2020, five times more than in 2012, according to IHS Automotive. By comparison, shipments of smartphones - which generally feature two cameras - will likely grow 6% in 2018 from 39% last year, according to IDC.

Panasonic and Sony lead in parking cameras, according to IHS, and Continental AG, Robert Bosch GmbH and Autoliv Inc dominate front cameras.


  1. Since many years the standard for automotive cameras is +105 degrees. +85 was about 10 years ago and at that time the customer specs were already +105 with a hope for +125.

    Our cameras are usually rated +85 even for non-automotive applications and we also do have +105 cameras for some non-automotive applications.

  2. I thought ADC Continental Temic had been bought by Siemens about 7 or 8 years ago. What about Siemens now?

  3. The report talks about front and rear cameras but there are also side (mirror) cameras and in-cabin cameras.

    There is also a clear difference between the front vision cameras for night vision and the front vision cameras for machine vision applications.

    This report seems very limited and weak to me.

  4. Arnaud,
    What is the image quality requirement at 105°C please ? Thanks !

    -yang ni

  5. The most important requirement is to fulfill the reliability requirements, this is true for any automotive device.
    -> http://www.aecouncil.com/AECDocuments.html

    The performance at 105 degrees usually depends on the application. Most of the specs i have seen were talking about maintaining 50% of the pixel voltage swing of 20 degrees, a minimum total SNR value at 50% output after the pixel value is rescaled to a [0 ; 2^N-1] range and a maximum number of white spots plus some requirements on clustering of white spots. The specs assumed a linear response.


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