Honda, Ford, and Mazda’s EV sensors are all made in Taiwan
This article is based on an interview undertaken by FusionMedium’s technology online media, TechOrange, and published with permission:
Whetron Electronics was established in 1983 as a provider to the automotive electronics sector. Over the 40 years of the company’s existence, its lineup of sensing-centric vehicle systems from anti-theft, parking assistance to ADAS has excelled in performance.
“The sensors in a car are no longer single sensing units operating, but rather a collection of different sensors, each with its own purpose, with the result that the number of sensors in the vehicle of today is several dozen times what was needed 10 years ago,” said Alex Cho, Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Whetron Electronics.
Core technologies, in-depth technical research and hard work discipline make for good industry performance
Whetron Electronics got its entry into the automotive electronics sector as soon as the firm was established in 1983 and started providing remote control anti-theft devices to Ford. Over the next 40 years, the company has become ubiquitous with sensing-centric vehicle systems from anti-theft and parking assistance to ADAS. The company’s accumulation of experience and technology over the four decades has led to itscapabilities in automotive sensors being widely recognized by many of the industry’s majors like Ford, Mazda, Toyota, and Mitsubishi.
With superior technology and service, Whetron Electronics has maintained long-term relationships with customers and became the exclusive supplier of Honda’s ultrasonic radar in 2015, establishing its leadership position in intelligent vehicle electronics.
Roads, traffic conditions, geography, and climate environments vary greatly, and the proper working of the sensing system under various scenarios requires experience and repeated iteration. “There will always be many unexpected situations.”
Alex said, for example, when the vehicle is being driven along steep up-and-down mountain roads, it becomes impossible for the front and rear millimeter wave radar to detect objects outside the vehicle correctly and respond as the slope is too inclined and the radar angle is fixed. This is unacceptable to car manufacturers. To improve radar discrimination accuracy to more than 95%, the company repeatedly conducted road tests with automakers over an eight-month period and kept modifying the algorithm until a satisfactory solution was found. This is just one of many cases where the company leveraged its rich measurement experience to overcome blind spot challenges and provide drivers with superior quality and service.
Making progress with carmakers
As vehicle sensing systems gradually transition from a single sensor to multiple sensing, the challenges facing sensing system manufacturers become ever more complex. The technology-centered advantages of Whetron Electronics are expected to become even starker in the highly competitive automotive electronics market.
To overcome these challenges, it behooves sensing system manufacturers to work closely with automobile manufacturers. The tacit interaction and trust relationship established between Whetron Electronics and carmakers over the last 40 years has laid a solid foundation for the development of intelligent and driverless cars and led to the design and provision of the most beneficial sensing solutions.
Alex also mentioned that in the process of the company’s pursuit of progress, the AI on Chip Industrial Cooperation Strategic Alliance established by the Smart Electronics Industry Promotion Office (SIPO) of the Industrial Development Bureau, provided information sharing across the sector, exchanges leading to collaborations with domestic and foreign manufacturers, access to international resources and business opportunities assistance. All the support has proven invaluable to Whetron Electronics and helped the company achieve the goal of accelerating expansion into the global automotive electronics market.
Keeping pace with the times and being at the forefront of the EV’s trend
By being among the first to collaborate with carmakers and manufacturers of car engines, Whetron Electronics was an early entrant into the market for intelligent EVs with integrated driving and parking functionalities.
Alex noted that the parking and driving functions of vehicles in general have always been controlled by two independent systems, while the whole electronic and electrical architecture of the vehicle has gradually shifted from a distributed to a centralized one. Reductions in cost, power consumption, and vehicle weight have made it so that the integration of driving and parking systems is no longer a challenge.
Whetron Electronics, as a key component within the supply chain of Taiwan’s automotive electronics industry, is confident in the market, “Taiwan excels in both ICT industry hardware and software and has advantages in ADAS research. We believe that the island is ideally positioned to play a key role in the EV and autonomous vehicle markets.” concluded Cho.