The term “advanced driver assistance systems”, or ADAS, refers to a collection of automotive electronics technologies which are designed to enable vehicles to operate autonomously in certain situations.
The market for ADAS is forecast to be worth around $70 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research. And although it’s already a huge market, a lot of the activity now is with the future in mind, a future in which many believe autonomous and electric cars will dominate.
A longer list of ADAS functions can be found elsewhere on this website, but examples include cruise control, lane-keeping, self-parking, and collision avoidance.
Industry jargon can sometimes confuse and over-complicate the explanation of technologies, but in this instance, the terminology is far simpler than the increasingly sophisticated and bewildering array of complex systems already on the market and in development.
Essentially, ADAS can be thought of as automated or even autonomous driving functions, and developers of these technologies are seeing growing demand for their systems.
In this article, we list approximately 40 of the leading companies, in alphabetical order, in the ADAS market.
A large number of automotive technology experts and observers say that cars and other vehicles are becoming increasingly autonomous, they have greater levels of internet connectivity, and they’re going electric.
In short: autonomous, connected, and electric. Or “ACE” for short. Which can perhaps be our small and totally unnecessary contribution to automotive industry jargon.
It used to be called AdasWorks, which probably shows how the technology has gravitated towards AI in recent years. Or at least how AI has become an important part of ADAS.
AImotive was established just four years ago, and appears to concentrate totally on bringing fully driverless cars to the market.
The company offers a range of software plus hardware solutions, including chips specifically designed to process AI tasks in a power-efficient way.
With a market capitalization approaching $15 billion, Aisin Seiki is one of the largest companies in the automotive technology market. Established 70 years ago, it’s 30 percent owned by Toyota, and mainly supplies engines, drivetrains and chassis.
Aisin considers itself a pioneer in ADAS, especially in automated parking, which it is says is making “even more advanced” by making it remote-controlled using a smartphone.
Although Ambrella has been enjoying a lot of success in the smart home market, the camera systems the company has developed for the automotive sector are also generating interest because it uses deep neural network processing and environmental perception to assist the driver – or the car.
Ambrella’s cameras have been used in the Darpa Grand Challenge, a trip from China to Italy in full autonomous mode, which included driverless navigation at highway speeds.
Ambrella is another company which specializes in a limited number of technologies, in this instance, based on cameras.
Better known as a chip designer, ARM is a hugely influential company in the semiconductor world. Although its share of the automotive and other markets may not be dominant under its own name, its chip designs probably feature in the significant proportion of systems in most sectors.
Automotive companies have been turning to ARM to help design autonomous and ADAS systems. The company has been basing its solutions on its Cortex processors and building what it describes as “complex autonomous compute systems”, sensor fusion being one its main preoccupations.
ARM was acquired by the SoftBank Group in 2016. ARM employs more than 6,000 people and currently has annual turnovers in the region of $1.4 billion.
Autoliv is a relatively new company, having been founded in 1997, but in today’s startup culture that makes it quite old. It has a market capitalization of approximately £7.5 billion, and employs a sizeable 66,000 people worldwide.
Its early work was in seat belt technology, which gradually expanded to include steering wheels, airbags and a range of safety functions. In terms of ADAS, Autoliv’s main product is its electronic control unit, or ECU.
ECUs look like chips, are function as the “brains” of the car, enabling it to respond to data from sensors all over the vehicle. It is estimated that new cars have approximately 100 embedded ECUs.
Bosch is a giant of a company in any market, a household name, and, correspondingly, it’s also a giant in the ADAS sector.
Such is the breadth of its range of technologies its 400,000 employees produce that it could probably be described as a “one-stop shop” for automotive electronics and technology in general.
The company has strengthened its partnerships with German automakers such as Mercedes, and is developing comprehensive solutions for vehicles of tomorrow – autonomous, connected and electric.
Most people probably know Continental as a tyre supplier, but the company is much more than that, and its interest in the ADAS segment has been underlined by a number of technologies it has been showcasing.
The company has developed technologies such as “assisted and automated driving control units”, which is a fancy name for ECUs, as well as radars and lidars – light detection and ranging systems – for automotive applications.
It also has a V2X unit for vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, an area which is seeing fast growth along with the rest of the market.
Delphi recently renamed itself Aptiv, and employs almost 150,000 people. It’s still a auto parts supplier, and its main innovation is something it calls a “predictive powertrain”.
The term “powertrain”, simply put, refers to the system which transfers or converts the power generated by the vehicle engine into the the movement of the wheels on the road surface.
The term “predictive”, as Delphi uses it, appears to refer to the integration of computing technology which would enable the car to plan autonomous journeys and monitor the condition of the car, alerting of maintenance requirements, as well as operate in a more fuel-efficient way.
It might not be a household name like one or two others on this list, but Denso is a giant in the automotive sector, mainly because it is the main supplier for Toyota.
With annual revenues typically in the region of $45 billion, Denso has enormous resources and has been using them to acquire startups and other companies to position itself appropriately for the future.
Denso supplies a huge range of products and services, from powertrains to ECU and semiconductor design. In ADAS, it concentrates on radar, lidar, and V2x systems, but it’s also keen on showcasing its automatic lane-change offering.
A supplier of embedded and connected software products, Elektrobit specializes in automotive technologies. Its main offering for autonomous cars is the “EB Robinos” software.
This company offers what it describes as a “full autonomous driving kit”, which includes software and hardware. It also offers more niche solutions for things like actuator bypassing and data collection.
A well-established company with a market cap of almost $6 billion, Gentex supplies camera-based features for vehicles, but its specialism is in the mirror.
The mirror is central to Gentex products and it the company says it is enhancing its capability to apply additional features to the mirror, including lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and traffic sign recognition, among others.
Gentex also supplies custom sensor clusters which may include multi-purpose cameras, velocity sensors, rain sensors and humidity sensors.
With a concentration on safety and security, which all of the companies are, Green Hills Software offers its own platform for ADAS, complete with an integrated development environment.
The platform includes numerous frameworks, software applications, and support for a. variety of automotive processors.
Samsung acquired Harman a couple of years ago, which gave the smartphone giant instant access to the automotive sector because Harman is a Tier 1 supplier, basically meaning preferred.
Originally specializing in audio, the company expanded into in-car entertainment in general, and has recently been developing connected car technology.
Now, with access to Samsung’s vast experience in sensors and cameras, Harman says it it offers a “truly holistic ADAS experience”. Specifically, however, its strengths are in augmented reality systems to assist driving, and data analysis powered by artificial intelligence.
Unusually, Hella is a family-owned company. It supplies a range of automotive products and services, including technologies for autonomous driving.
The company says autonomous driving is made possible by more sophisticated technologies, more powerful control units and new software architectures within and beyond the vehicle.
In terms of specifics, it supplies radar sensors, camera software, shake sensors, and adaptive front lighting systems, among other ADAS-type products.
Part of the giant conglomerate which recently took over ABB Switzerland, Hitachi Automotive Systems says ADAS will be a “key part of the growth of the market for autonomous driving systems.
The company has developed what it calls an “ADAS Controller”, which it says enables easier modification and addition of applications.
So, if you want to add a new sensor to the car, or new software, the ADAS controller is designed to be flexible in that way.
The parts and services arm of Hyundai Motor, Mobis has annual revenues above $32 billion. So it’s one of the biggest automotive parts and services companies on this list.
Hyundai Mobis has been supplying ADAS functionalities such as electronic stability control for quite some time, but last year, it started “aggressively investing in autonomous driving technologies”.
These will include radar and sensor technologies. It’s particularly interested in developing sensors that can convert external driving circumstances into digital signals and read them accurately, saying this is an “important challenge” for an autonomous industry that is now readying itself for the era of autonomous driving.
A tech company in the more modern sense, Imagination does not specialise in ADAS, but it has launched a product for the automotive sector.
PowerVR Automotive is a hard plus software solution which is designed to accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles.
Another company which, while not a top 10 chipmaker overall, is huge in the automotive market. Infineon is one of the better-known names in ADAS.
The company has developed a number of chips for specialized tasks, such as the “Rasic” range for radar, and the Real 3 Time-of-Flight image sensor, which provides 3D depth for driver monitoring applications.
Infineon recently decided to invest $2 billion a new semiconductor factory in Austria, and has formed partnerships with companies including Baidu, which should ensure its position in the market.
One of the better-known companies in the automotive components market, partly because it isn’t linked by history to any of the big automakers, although it works with all of them since it’s one of the largest suppliers.
Magna’s background is in electronics, which is essentially what ADAS is mostly about, and in that area, the company says it is actively developing new products for a fully autonomous future.
Magna offers its Max4 ADAS platform for fully autonomous driving, but the functions integrated into it – such as emergency braking – are also used in the “semi-autonomous” vehicles of today.
Interestingly, Maxim Integrated is known as a designer and supplier of analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits – which sounds like an anachronism in today’s world where everything is digital.
Maxim offers systems which support the standard array of ADAS functions, including parking assistance, lane positioning, and collision avoidance, to name a few.
The company employs more than 7,000 people and generates revenues of approximately $2.5 billion a year.
It’s easy to forget the structure of Mitsubishi. It used to be one single company at some time in the past, but Mitsubishi Electric is apparently separate from Mitsubishi Group, which is the unit that makes cars.
Mitsubishi Electric concentrates on the industrial sector, and offers a massive range of products and services. It has 140,000 employees and annual revenues of almost $40 billion.
For the ADAS market, Mitsubishi Electric is currently developing cameras as well as ECUs, among a variety of sensing and data processing technologies.
Mobileye says it supports “a comprehensive suite of ADAS functions”, but there are so many of them and it’s likely that new ones are being developed all the time.
Mobileye’s success in the past year or two have been mostly its partnerships with leading automakers, such as BMW, which, while it develops ADAS of its own, is probably interested in working with the Intel-backed company for a variety of reasons.
Among the technologies Mobileye highlights is lane departure warning and forward collision warning.
Although Nvidia not even among the top 10 largest semiconductor companies overall, it has virtually cemented its position as the leading company in the automotive market for ADAS systems.
All large automotive companies – the brands as well as their suppliers – have signed up to some aspect of Nvidia’s autonomous driving developer program, and its “carputer” is likely to feature in many tens of millions of vehicles in the future.
The Nvidia Drive computing system or platform is, as its name suggests, specially tailored for automotive applications, and features deep learning AI and a variety of software libraries, frameworks and source packages for developers.
Since buying Freescale, another chipmaker which had a large share of the automotive electronics market, NXP has become the de facto leader in the sector.
Overall, NXP is one of the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers in the world, but only just. Its strong position in the auto market is a factor in this.
The company has developed sensor fusion systems and radar and vision systems for an extensive range of scenarios, but its position in the may be challenged by other companies looking for inroads into the automotive market.
As its name suggests, OmniVision specializes in camera-based technologies, offering a range of products for automotive applications.
They include high high dynamic range plus advanced image signal processing, which provide detailed scenes, regardless of light conditions, says the company.
The company employs more than 2,000 people and its revenue is approximately $1.4 billion.
It used to be a household name – and still is to a certain extent – because of its consumer electronics products. But these days, Panasonic is just as well known for its industrial technologies.
In the ADAS segment, Panasonic offers a range of technologies such as camera-based eye-tracking which can detect drowsiness in a driver, and intelligent rear-view mirrors which adjust to the light and have cameras integrated into them.
Perhaps the cleverest thing about the intelligent mirror is that it requires no external ECU.
Blackberry is a name that will probably be forever associated with smartphones, but the company has been branching out of late in unexpected ways.
One of the directions it has taken has brought it to the ADAS market, where it is offering software solutions for vision processing and deep neural-net based machine learning algorithms.
It’s one of the few companies to use the open-source Robot OS, which may help to tap into a larger ecosystem of developers going forward.
Another semiconductor manufacturing company, Renesas specializes in the automotive sector. In fact, by some calculations, it is the largest automotive semiconductor maker, and the world’s largest maker of microcontrollers.
Renesas has 20,000 employees and is part of the larger NEC Corporation.
Its main ADAS offerings are based on camera technologies. So, among other technologies, it has something called “surround view”, which is self-explanatory to an extent, but uses Renesas’ automotive computing platform, R-Car, which runs something the company calls “cognitive computing”, another term to mean artificial intelligence.
While public roads may have to wait many years before fully autonomous vehicles drive themselves along them, in the logistics and supply chain industry, there are many tens of thousands of driverless vehicles operating in warehouses all over the world.
A huge proportion of them were built using Sick technology, such as its collision avoidance system, which is a large part of the reason why the company’s turnover is increasing beyond $2 billion a year.
One thing to consider is that autonomous vehicle technology is likely to affect both these sectors simultaneously in the future.
The recent troubles at Takata appear to be related to its airbags, because of which BMW recalled 360,000 cars in China in the past few days.
The company filed for bankruptcy a couple of years ago. However, it was previously regarded highly in the sector and may make a comeback.
One of the leading suppliers of chips to the automotive industry, Texas Instruments produces processors specifically for ADAS.
These processors support functions such as parking assistance, surround view, and driver monitoring. Modules are available for cameras, radar, lidar, sensor fusion, and even ultrasound.
The company’s annual revenues are in the region of $15 billion and it employs 30,000 people.
Mainly a car parts supplier, TRW was acquired by automotive technology manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen in 2015. As a result, it will likely become a supplier and possibly a developer in the ADAS sector.
Probably best known for manufacturing powertrain systems, Valeo is a huge business, with around $4 billion in annual sales and 25,000 employees.
Like all others in the sector, the company is investing heavily in developing technologies for autonomous and connected cars.
Specifically, it offers products including weather sensors, lane change systems, and automated parking, among others.
Employing 2,500 people at 26 locations makes it a big company, but such is the size of this market that there is plenty of room to grow manifold.
Vector is a specialist automotive electronics company of 30 years’ standing. Its offerings tend to be a combination of hardware and software solutions.
They include measuring instruments to acquire sensor data, checking and optimizing ECU functions, software components, and algorithm design.
By some calculations, Velodyne is one of the leading suppliers of lidar technology, in which it specializes.
Lidar has become such an important component in self-driving vehicles that it is seeing numerous innovations within itself, meaning there are different types of lidar now.
And while we are talking about autonomous vehicles and ADAS in this article, these kinds of components can be used in a variety of scenarios beyond automotive.
Visteon is an automotive component supplier with annual revenues of more than $3 billion, and it employs 10,000 people.
The potential size of the market for ADAS in commercial vehicles such as trucks is huge, and this is where Wabco operates. The company has developed a wide range of ADAS technologies for large vehicles.
These include ADAS functions in braking, stability control, suspension, transmission automation and aerodynamics.
Wabco employs 12,000 people and has annual revenues of more than $2.6 billion. Last month, the 150-year-old company was acquired by ZF Friedrichshafen.
With annual revenues of almost $42 billion and 140,000 employees, car parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen is one of the largest companies on this list.
With ADAS permeating almost all of its products, ZF is fast becoming one of the leading suppliers of autonomous technology in the automotive market.
Cameras, radar, laser and communication systems are part of the technology mix at ZF, and the company has developed a vehicle computer, called ProAI RoboThink, than it says can process 150 trillion operations a second.
It resembles the Nvidia computer which other ADAS developers are also Bosch are working with.