The CEO of a software firm that specialises in connected car technology and telematics systems has said he believes the current semiconductor shortage impacting the auto industry will halt the development of connected car technologies.
Tom Blackie, Founder and CEO, VNC Automotive, said dwindling supplies of the semiconductors relied upon by car manufacturers, the unprecedented weather in Texas and a recent factory fire in Japan for one of the world's leading auto chip makers (Renesas), has created a 'perfect storm' for the future of connected car technology and in-car entertainment.
"This is the biggest threat to the development of truly connected vehicles that we will see in a generation," he said. It also comes at a time when vehicle manufactures are wrestling with the global impact of the of COVID-19 pandemic and the acceleration towards the mass adoption of EVs.
"Our customers are experiencing serious supply issues, with some making big long-term commitments in order to get any kind of guaranteed supply, and the implications are much higher costs," according to Blackie. "This situation is out of car manufacturers' control and will force them to restrict production or compromise the technology they are able to implement in cars."
Blackie also maintains that some consumers will be left with stagnated systems or, in extreme cases, retrograde technology as manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers are forced to "hobble systems to work with less advanced semiconductor designs".
"We're concerned that it will lead to a generation of cars that will became quickly incompatible with future mobile phones and connectivity technology," Blackie says. "In this way it may have knock on effects for the development of EVs and even autonomous technologies."
With its software in approximately 35 million vehicles worldwide, VNC Automotive works across the entire transportation industry, including consumer, commercial, emergency services, as well as mobility. It says its technology lies at the heart of a vehicles' entertainment, navigation and telematics systems.