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ADAS Trends: Affordability, Accessibility and Scalability

Since as far back as I can remember, I have been passionate about technology, cars and making a difference to people. When I’m not working on Magna’s ADAS technology strategy, I have a number of related hobbies, including volunteering as a track steward at Linkoping’s Motorstadion in Sweden.

In this capacity, we give teenagers and adults a chance to drive in a safe environment on the racetrack. This allows them to enjoy both motorsports and learn to control their vehicles. I’ve been doing these sessions for 20 years, and whether I’m instructing a race enthusiast or a new driver, my motivation is to highlight the importance of safety.

I bring the same mindset to my role at Magna, where I track both safety and technology trends that help our Electronics team develop current and future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Our goal is to keep people safe on the road by making key technologies more accessible, affordable, and intuitive to consumers while managing scalability and the rising demand from our automotive customers.

Steven Jenkins as a child pretending to drive a truck

As an industry, we must take responsibility for bringing the safety benefits of ADAS to all vehicles, regardless of their price range. Our objective is to enhance Magna’s industry-leading products, making them even more accessible as we strive to meet the evolving needs of the automotive industry. We are also tuned to future trends and consistently lead by example in expanding our portfolio of core programs and research projects, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of innovation.

Magna commands a unique position in the automotive industry as both a leading mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers. Our expertise in systems engineering enables us to build safety platforms with scalability and reusability in mind. Where we shine is our ability to effectively integrate hardware and software across a comprehensive safety product portfolio, including radars, cameras, thermal sensing, interior sensing, and complex ADAS ECUs. We also have the capability to integrate external products when we see a need for technologies that enhance our customers’ offerings.

Currently, ADAS-equipped vehicles with features that are now considered standard, such as automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, and lane departure warning, are increasing in price due to higher capital costs (e.g., materials and components, equipment, R&D, etc.), maintenance, and repair expenses. According to the latest McKinsey Mobility Consumer Pulse survey, the demand for additional ADAS functions is exceptionally high among consumers. The survey highlights the significant influence ADAS features play in the purchase decision, especially among EV buyers and the premium-brand segment, with many people expressing a strong inclination to switch brands for better ADAS features.

As part of our work, we interact closely with our customers; some customers are looking for an “off the shelf” solution, while others are looking for us to support them on specific pieces. I strongly believe that, at Magna, we have the capability, knowledge, and resources to integrate into our customers’

Our forward-thinking extends into the next decade, with the target of developing a prototype of our Collective Perception system. We envision a future where vehicles and infrastructure elements, such as traffic cameras and security cameras on buildings, seamlessly share data with the cloud to enhance vehicle safety. Such a system effectively enables cars to “see” around corners and make eco-friendly decisions about the use of certain vehicle functions.

The Collective Perception system will be software-based, allowing for flexible deployment and the potential to be implemented on older vehicle hardware. Affordability is a major objective here, as Collective Perception has the potential to simplify technology by eliminating the need for certain vehicle sensors.

Steven Jenkins, Vice President, Technology Strategy, Magna Electronics

Steven Jenkins

At Magna, our goal is to keep people safe on the road by making important safety technology more accessible, affordable, and intuitive to consumers.

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