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The global automotive electronic control unit market size was valued at USD 53.13 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow from USD 58.31 billion in 2022 to USD 94.58 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.2% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with automotive electronic control unit experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a rise of 2.4% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
In recent years, modern vehicles are composed of various control units to improve vehicle performance. The automotive electronic control unit administers multiple actuators on the I.C. engine to ensure regular operation of the engine. This also is known as automotive components management system. It controls the oxygen content in the exhaust, engine speed, and coolant temperature. For instance, in 2017, Mercedes-Benz equipped all its E-class models, including the plug-in hybrid version and its newly developed central powertrain controller. It acts as a gateway between various control units of the powertrain and can also undertake the control functions of other equipment. The control unit is customized to meet the requirements of electrification and interconnected powertrains.
Global Market Growth to Slow Down Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate and severe impact on the globally integrated automotive industry. The effect of coronavirus includes the interruption of mass manufacturing throughout Europe, the closure of U.S. assembly plants, and the interruption of Chinese parts exports. This has put a tremendous burden on businesses that have retorted to the weakening in global demand and may lead to increased merger & acquisition activity. Moreover, electronic supply to the industry faced severe challenges due to the China & U.S. trade and tariff war. Additionally, as most of the global players are dependent on the Chinese players for the raw material of the electronic system/components, more than 70% of the companies have faced a delay in their shipments. However, the automotive electronic control modules market can restore its growth as the number of sales of electric vehicles is growing in some countries during the pandemic.
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Remapping of ECU of Vehicle is Latest Trend Driving Market Growth
Many car manufacturers do not maximize the performance of their cars. The vehicle manufacturer restricts the engine performance of the vehicle. The control units’ settings can be easily adjusted to achieve the vehicle's smooth performance, improve fuel efficiency, and obtain more horsepower according to driving conditions or the owner's requirements. Turbocharged engines can achieve better engine performance. The remapping of these turbocharged vehicles leads to good performance as the power of the turbocharger can be increased.
In addition to excellent performance, it can also improve vehicle fuel economy. The remapping of the control units can help increase the vehicle's mileage as it can help attain appropriate control of the fuel flow. This trend will help to grow the market over the forecast period.
Trend of Adopting Integrated ECUs to Drive Market Growth
In recent years, vehicles have been equipped with highly distributed control units. Each ECU has its functional requirements, and due to the car's electronic equipment, its respective hardware components (such as wiring, computing platform, and sensors) have become more complex. For instance, most vehicles contain more than 125 control units, and the number of control units takes up a lot of space in the vehicle. The integrated ECU can perform the functions of multiple control units from one unit. In integration, control units in different fields work in accordance with general functional requirements.
For example, one area is in-vehicle experience, support for Augmented Reality (AR), rear-seat entertainment, head-up display, and dashboard. ECUs are very complex and require high-performance graphics, mobile communications, and data streaming. Combining these functions will eliminate broadband network interference, Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), and the need for CPU and camera. Thus, the rise in the adoption of integrated control units in passenger vehicles will drive the automotive electronic control unit market growth over the forecast period.
Protecting Vehicle Owner Data to Promote Market Growth
Vehicles connected to a variety of modes Internet-based services are more prone to data theft. For example, third-party vehicle platforms such as U-connect provide various communication, navigation, and entertainment functions. The U-shaped connection platform can be used in Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, RAM, and Fiat cars. The owners of these vehicles can use their smartphones to lock and start the vehicle engine.
There have been events in the past that the U-connect platform has stopped working owing to a security breach, and hackers have full access to the vehicle owner’s data from bank accounts to medical records. This important information is stored in the control unit's data, so it is necessary to protect such confidential data. Therefore, consumers are increasingly inclined to data security, which is the key factor for driving the development of the market size.
Technical Failures and Expensive Repairs Hinder ECU Reliability
Failure of the automotive electronic control unit may invalidate the engine's fuel setting and timing, negatively affecting vehicle performance. This may cause intermittent faults in the vehicle, such as a fire or a stall. ECU failure may cause fuel efficiency, acceleration, and power reduction. The control units are very complex, and most interrelated controls influence each other. Therefore, if the control unit completely fails or is tampered with, it may cause the vehicle to operate.
Since the car with ECU function has no additional cost burden, to a large extent, there is no auxiliary backup to compensate for human error. Therefore, a malfunctioning control unit may cause fatal problems such as triggering airbags when not needed. Such unit failures lead to extra cost burden to consumers. Therefore, this may hamper the growth of the automotive body electronics market.
Passenger Cars Segment to Hold Largest Market Share
Based on vehicle type, the market is segmented into passenger car, light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle, and electric vehicle.
The passenger car segment accounts for the major share in the global market owing to the highest number of passenger cars on the road. The electric vehicle segment is also expected to show exponential growth in the market over the forecast period. In addition, the growing adoption of electric vehicles across the globe and increasing demand for safety features among millennials, along with the rising need for up-gradation, safe and comfortable driving experience in future vehicles, are altogether propelling the growth of this market over the globe.
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ADAS Segment to Hold Largest Market Share
Based on application, the market is segmented into powertrain, braking system, body electronics, ADAS, and infotainment.
The ADAS segment holds the largest share in the global market due to the rising demand for advanced driving-assisted features in all types of vehicles. Also, the few semi-autonomous vehicles growing in demand will create advanced features and component requirements, increasing market growth. However, the body electronics segment is also expected to experience good growth in the market. The infotainment segment is also likely to experience significant growth due to the rise in demand for rising entertainment in vehicles.
Asia Pacific Global Automotive Electronic Control Unit Market Size, 2021 (USD billion)
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The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 25.08 billion in 2021. The region holds dominance in the global market. It continues to maintain its dominance over the forecast period owing to the growing demand for passenger cars in this region, and the purpose is the rising disposable income of people.
It is estimated that the automotive electronic control unit market size in North America will show steady growth due to increasing use of safety systems in standard vehicles. The increase in installation of electronic systems in passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, and SUVs is expected to drive the growth of the electric vehicle ECU market in the region.
Moreover, as per the study, it is estimated that Europe’s share will show significant growth in the automotive electronic control unit market. The area is home to many luxury car manufacturers who host various advanced electronic devices and sensors in their vehicles. This is expected to be the most crucial factor in the growth of the market in this region.
ZF FRIEDRICHSHAFEN AG is a Top Player in Market
ZF Friedrichshafen AG is a global technology company that provides automotive systems for industrial technology, commercial vehicles, and passenger cars. It has a comprehensive technology portfolio and delivers integrated solutions for travel providers, vehicle manufacturers, and new companies in the travel and transportation field. The company continues to improve its systems in the areas of digital connectivity and automation.
An Infographic Representation of Automotive Electronic Control Unit (ECU) Market
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The global automotive electronic control unit market report provides a detailed analysis of the market. It focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading applications of the product. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that have contributed to the market's growth over recent years.
Value (USD Billion) & Volume (Thousand units)
By Vehicle Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the global automotive electronic control unit market size was USD 53.13 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 94.58 billion by 2029.
In 2021, Asia Pacific automotive electronic control unit market value stood at USD 25.08 billion.
The automotive electronic control unit market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.2% and will exhibit steady growth in the forecast period (2022-2029).
The passenger car segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
The trend of adopting integrated ECUs is expected to propel the market growth.
ZF FRIEDRICHSHAFEN AG is the leading player in the global market.
Asia Pacific dominated the market share in 2021.
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