Just Like Being There: SMTAi 2017 & What’s Driving Automotive Electronics?

In 1950 electronics represented less than 1% of the cost of manufacturing a car, now it’s close to one third and by 2030 it is slated to be half. Add the impact of autonomous driving, smart cities electric cars, and it’s easy to see why this sector is set for substantial and sustained growth.

As a result, the automotive industry is changing fast. The consumer electronics supply chain is colliding with that of car making. The innovation landscape is changing too, as car makers open R&D centers in Silicon Valley and partner with some of the world’s largest tech brands. According to a recent PWC survey, investment in R&D continues to grow, whilst car makers offload more and more development work to technology partners.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year all the car makers were present, dominating the North Hall and playing an increasingly important role in the press events and the keynote sessions. If it’s not car makers presenting their vision, it’s technology companies talking about partnerships or technologies focused on the automotive sector and the car of the future.

As the industry changes, the way things are made and the supply chains must adapt too. At SMTAi in Chicago, I was joined by Lenora Clark, global director for End User Applications at MacDermid Performance Solutions; Chis Nash, new product development manager for PCBA at Indium Corp.; and Phil Zarrow, president and principal consultant at ITM Consulting. We asked them  to share their experiences and views on what's driving the automotive industry.

This interview was filmed on location in the SCOOPstudio , which was sponsored by Fuji America, KIC, Jabil, Mentor, Radius Innovation, and the Smart Factory Awards.

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