Unmanned driving has set off a new wave of on-board cameras
Jan 11, 2019

In recent years, auto-driving has become the focus of the giant cluster layout. GM bought ArgoAI for $1 billion; Intel bought Mobileye for $15.3 billion; and Baidu reorganized its Intelligent Driving Group business in March after Luqi landed on Baidu. At present, in the world, more than 10 of the 20 leading technology companies are developing auto-driving technology, and 12 of the world's top 14 large auto companies are already doing auto-driving. This upsurge in the field of automatic driving will also drive the development of the car camera market.

According to Yole Dveloppement, the authoritative market analyst in France, intelligent driving is mainly perceived through cameras (long-distance cameras, surround cameras and stereo cameras) and sensors; currently, the most advanced smart cars use 17 sensors (only for auto-driving functions), which are expected to reach 29 sensors by 2030.

According to the predictions and judgments of well-known institutions, it is expected that the global market of vehicle cameras and night vision systems will enter a period of rapid growth around 2020. Among them, the car-mounted camera market will be 6.2 billion RMB in 2015, 13.3 billion RMB in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 16%. Night vision system: the market scale in 2015 is 29.3 billion RMB, and in 2020 it will reach 51.4 billion RMB, with a compound annual growth rate of 12%.

Vehicle camera is the basis of realizing many ADAS functions such as early warning and recognition. Among many ADAS functions, the visual image processing system is more basic and more intuitive for drivers, and the camera is the basis of the visual image processing system, so the vehicle camera is essential for intelligent driving. Many functions such as lane departure warning (LDW), forward collision warning (FCW), traffic sign recognition (TSR), lane maintenance assistance (LKA), pedestrian collision warning (PCW), panoramic parking (SVP), driver fatigue warning and so on can be realized by camera, and some functions can only be realized by camera.

The price of on-board camera keeps falling, and multi-camera bicycle will become the trend in the future. The cost of cameras is relatively low, and the price of a single camera has been reduced from more than 300 yuan in 2010 to about 200 yuan in 2014. Compared with other sensors, they are cheaper and easy to be widely used. Tesla Autopilot 2.0 hardware system contains eight cameras, the future bicycle multi-camera will become the trend. According to the requirements of different ADAS functions, the installation position of the camera is also different. According to the installation location of the camera, it can be divided into four parts: front-looking, side-looking, rear-looking and built-in. In order to realize the full ADAS function in the future, bicycles need to be equipped with at least five cameras.

Forward-looking camera has the highest frequency of use, and a single camera can achieve multiple functions. Through the optimization of algorithm development, a single front-looking camera can achieve multiple functions, such as driving record, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, pedestrian recognition and so on. In the future, more ADAS functions will be realized through algorithm integration. The front-looking camera is usually a wide-angle lens, which is installed on the rear-view mirror or the front windshield at a higher position in order to achieve a longer effective distance. In the hardware system of Tesla Autopilot2.0, there are three front-looking cameras, which are normal, long-focus and wide-angle cameras. The three cameras can cover a longer distance and a wider field of vision, and the detection accuracy and security will be greatly improved. Tesla's approach is also expected to be followed by later generations.

It will be a trend for side-looking cameras to replace rearview mirrors. Because of the limited scope of the rearview mirror, when another car in the oblique rear is located outside this range, it is "invisible", and the part outside this range is called blind area. Because of the existence of blind areas, it greatly increases the probability of traffic accidents. The blind area can be basically covered by side-looking cameras installed on both sides of the vehicle. When a vehicle enters the blind area, it will automatically remind the driver to pay attention to it. This is the blind area monitoring system.

There is also a new trend to replace rearview mirrors with side-looking wide-angle cameras, which not only reduces wind resistance, but also provides a wider and wider view to avoid accidents in dangerous blind areas. BMW I8 Mirrorless concept car uses this design. Japan has also amended regulations to allow vehicles without rearview mirrors to go on the road, encouraging the use of side-looking cameras instead of rearview mirrors, and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has recently promised to amend regulations to remove restrictions on vehicles without rearview mirrors. We believe that replacing the rearview mirror with the side-looking camera can not only reduce the wind resistance, but also cover the blind area. It is safer and will become the development trend in the future.

The panoramic parking system calls several cameras around the car body to help the car open the "God's perspective". Panoramic parking system collects images around the vehicle through several ultra-wide angle cameras installed around the body. After image processing unit rectification and stitching, a panoramic overhead view around the vehicle is formed and transmitted to the display device of the central console in real time. Drivers can directly see the position of the vehicle and the obstacles in the weekly report of the vehicle from the "God's Perspective" when sitting in the car. They can control the parking position calmly or pass through the complex road surface to effectively reduce the occurrence of scratches, collisions and other accidents.

Vehicle cameras are widely used and relatively inexpensive. They are the most basic and common sensors. In the future, the market space will exceed 10 billion yuan. Camera is indispensable for many ADAS functions, and the unit price is expected to continue to decline in the future, which will drive the rapid growth of the market space for vehicle-mounted cameras. According to HIS estimates, global shipments of on-board cameras will increase from 28 million in 2014 to 83 million in 2020, a compound growth rate of 20%. It is estimated that the global car camera market will grow from 6.2 billion yuan in 2015 to 13.3 billion yuan in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 16%. Consumption areas are mainly in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific and other places, of which the Asia-Pacific region will become the fastest growing market.

It is estimated that the domestic demand for on-board cameras will reach 42 million by 2020, with a market scale of more than 6 billion yuan. In 2015, the domestic demand for on-board cameras was about 13 million. Simple estimates of the market size of domestic car-mounted cameras are as follows:

1) Assuming that Taiwan's passenger car sales keep a compound annual growth rate of 5%, passenger car sales will reach 26.99 million by 2020.

2) Suppose that by 2020, the permeability of the front-looking camera (1 camera) is close to 40%, the lateral-looking camera (2 cameras) is 20%, the rear-looking camera (1 camera) is 50%, and the built-in camera (1 camera) is 5%.

3) Considering the huge domestic car ownership, the afterloading market can not be ignored. Assuming that only one front-looking camera (1) and one rear-looking camera (1) are considered in the rear-loading, and the penetration rate is 10%, the rear-loading market will need more than 4 million new cameras annually. Based on the above assumptions, it can be estimated that by 2020, there will be an additional demand of 42 million video cameras in the domestic car market, and the market size will reach 6.7 billion yuan based on the unit price of 160 yuan.

Camera industry chain mainly consists of lens group, CMOS, DSP, module packaging and so on. In recent years, the rapid growth of smartphones has led to the vigorous development of the camera market, but since 2014, the growth of smartphones has slowed down, and the growth rate of mobile camera in the future will also slow down. With the rise of the car-mounted camera market, the production capacity of each link in the mobile camera industry chain will be transferred to the car-mounted camera industry. It is expected that CMOS, lens, module packaging and other links in the industry chain will continue to maintain high growth in the future.

CMOS is the core component of the camera, which is widely used in vehicle cameras. CMOS is the camera's photosensitive element. Compared with the CCD photosensitive element, the image quality of CMOS is slightly worse, but the cost is lower and the power is saved. CMOS is widely used in the field of vehicle camera with low pixel requirement. CMOS also has two important advantages over CCD:

1) Fast speed. CMOS photoelectric sensor can collect optical signals and extract electrical signals. It can also process the image information of each unit at the same time. The speed is much faster than that of CCD charge coupler. The image acquisition speed of CMOS camera with high performance can reach 5,000 frames per second.

2) High dynamic range. When the vehicle is running at high speed, the light conditions change dramatically and frequently. COMS can quickly recognize the surrounding objects even in the environment with large brightness difference. The value of CMOS accounts for about one third of the cost of cameras and is controlled by foreign brands. Sony, Samsung and OmniVision have more than 60% market share.

Sony has occupied the first place in the global CMOS sensor market for many years. With its deep technology accumulated in CMOS and the acquisition of Toshiba image sensor business, Sony's market share is expected to expand further. CMOS market is basically controlled by foreign brands, while domestic brands have weak voice power. OmniVision is one of the major shareholders of Jingfang Science and Technology in CMOS packaging enterprises in China, and also a major customer of Jingfang Science and Technology. As a result, Crystal Technology is expected to benefit from the dramatic increase in demand for CMOS.

Lens are also an important component of cameras. Domestic independent brand enterprises have obvious advantages. According to the TSR research report, in 2015, Taiwanese companies Dali Optoelectronics remained the first in global camera lens manufacturers, accounting for about one third of the global market share. Shunyu Optics in China surpassed Yujing by a weak advantage and ranked second. In the car camera lens market, Shunyu Optical lens shipments rank first in the world, with a market share of about 30%, and has entered the front-loading market of major automotive enterprises (BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi).

Vehicle camera module assembly process is complex and market barriers are high, but domestic manufacturers have entered. Compared with consumer electronics such as mobile phone cameras, vehicle-mounted cameras have higher security requirements, more complex technology and higher market barriers. Panasonic, Sony, Valeo, Fujitsu-ten and other manufacturers occupy a larger share. The market concentration of vehicle-mounted camera module packaging is also higher than that of mobile phone camera. Domestic manufacturers such as Shunyu Optics and Oufei Optics have a leading market share in the field of mobile camera packaging. Now they have entered the packaging and manufacturing of vehicle-mounted camera module in an all-round way.

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