LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Technavio’s latest report on the global automotive connectors market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020. Technavio defines an emerging trend as a factor that has the potential to significantly impact the market and contribute to its growth or decline.
Siddharth Jaiswal, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on automotive electronics sector, says, “The increase in adoption of EVs has prompted OEMs to invest in R&D to bridge the gap between internal combustion engines and vehicles run on electric energy. This will lead to an increased application of connectors and wiring harnesses in the automotive industry.”
The automotive connector market is expected to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period. This is because of an increasing demand for and use of automotive electronics. The rise in demand in automotive electronics is contributing to the growing requirement for automotive wiring harness systems. With the increase in electronic content in vehicles, OEMs are designing compact and lightweight wiring systems, which occupy less space and connect every component.
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The top three emerging trends driving the global automotive connectors market according to Technavio automotive research analysts are:
- Induction of high-end optical fibers into automobile sector
- Development of lightweight and heat-resistant materials for automotive wiring harnesses
- Shifting focus of OEMs toward development of autonomous vehicles
Induction of high-end optical fibers into automobile sector
Traditional cars used the crimp and poke connector system owing to its simplified architecture for wiring harnesses. However, as the demand for driver support systems such as ADAS and ESC increased, traditional connector system could no longer provide the bandwidth. This gave rise to the development of other complex architecture for wiring harnesses such as UTP and STP.
“Although UTP and STP could satisfy the bandwidth requirements significantly, they increased the overall weight of the vehicle due to the increasing use of copper in wiring harnesses. This paved the way for the development of a lightweight alternative called optical fiber,” according to Siddharth.
Development of lightweight and heat-resistant materials for automotive wiring harnesses
The automotive industry is witnessing a structural shift toward lightweight materials, engine downsizing, and compact vehicle structuring to achieve higher fuel efficiency. On an average, a typical modern automobile consists of over 100 microprocessors and wiring harness of over 8,460 meters. This wiring harness is becoming so dense, leading to less space in vehicle columns and headliners. These concerns are pushing OEMs and component suppliers to adopt to lightweight wiring materials such as aluminum.
TE Connectivity, a major player in the area of automotive wiring harness, has estimated that with the replacement of copper with aluminum a passenger car can reduce an average weight of over 6 pounds. This will enhance the fuel economy and at the same time reduce emissions. In addition, the price of aluminum is relatively lower than copper, making the metal attractive to connectors manufacturers.
Shifting focus of OEMs toward development of autonomous vehicles
The automotive industry is witnessing a structural shift in terms of the demand side behavior. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, vehicles were perceived as an extension of the personality of the end-user. This phenomenon has drastically changed. Now, the next generation of baby boomers, which are the millennia, has shifted to new car ownership models. This includes carpooling, cab services, and car rentals due to factors such as traffic congestions in urban cities. To adopt to this behavioral change, OEMs are focusing more on technologies that are driverless and autonomous vehicle concepts.
Although the autonomous vehicle concept is yet in its nascent stage for commercialization, numerous experts are expecting this concept to drive the future of the automotive industry. All the major OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers have already initiated projects to commercialize this concept of autonomous vehicles; Audi, Ford, Continental, Bosch, and Delphi are the most active in this space.
The key vendors are as follows:
- TE Connectivity
- Delphi Automotive
- Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems
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