Strong Growth Potential of China's Smart Auto Parts Sector
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Chinese technology startup and the maker of augmented-reality head-up displays (AR-HUDs) Raythink received a lot of attention lately when it reduced the impact of the rising prices for raw materials in the upstream sector by providing a lineup of solutions that made use of its innovative technology OpticalCore. A large contributing factor was the ability to avoid many of the restrictions often imposed on the technology as a result of the chips that are used. In April 2021, the company signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Aptiv PLC, a globally renowned auto parts company, whereby both companies will work together to promote AR-HUD solutions for intelligent vehicle cockpits.


The Chinese auto parts industry has recently been through a period characterized by some notable successes amid challenges and setbacks. Most notably, during the first quarter of 2021, the sector experienced a boom driven by substantial year-on-year growth in the sales of automobiles while facing increasing pressure as a result of the rise in prices for raw materials. The strength of the sector overall bodes well for Raythink's prospects, as it is the only company in the world that has successfully applied the OpticalCore technology to products and put it into vehicles for testing. In addition, the optical core component of its OpticalCore technology - the optical core engine imaging module - has been developed independently by the company, which greatly reduces the impact of chip shortage.


By using Raythink's proprietary OpticalCore technology to reduce laser speckle, the company's AR-HUD solutions offer several advantages over conventional TFT or DLP solutions, including a decrease in volume, an improvement in brightness and superior color intensity, while providing a wide-angle field of vision across three lanes. In addition, the firm's proprietary optical design reduces WHUD/ARHUD's dependence on PVB wedge-shaped interlayer film for windshields and presents a clear AR visual effect on ordinary windshields. This will lead to a decrease of more than 10,000 yuan (approx. US$1,500) in costs for vehicles equipped with AR-HUDs.


'Raythink expects to further enhance its competitiveness in controlling costs and delivering performance by building capabilities in intelligent manufacturing of its proprietary modules,' said Raythink CEO Ray Lu.


A provider of the overall solution for the monitoring and display of vehicle-assisted driving, Raythink is a manufacturer of key AR module solutions for intelligent vehicles based on optical-core modules, software algorithm architecture and the intelligent manufacturing process. The company provides modules for intelligent cockpit systems to auto parts suppliers while delivering a new Internet of Vehicles-based driving experience to intelligent vehicles.


Several Tier One manufacturers of complete vehicles and vehicle cockpits have engaged in technological exchanges with Raythink following the company's application of its AR-HUDs to vehicles for the first time in October 2020. During discussions with its partners about POC projects, Raythink has frequently been acclaimed for its technology due to its ability to reduce the costs of custom-made windshields while also being able to provide a wide-angle field of vision.


As the whole new energy vehicle market enters into a fast-developing track, the strategic partnership of Aptiv and Raythink will see more possibilities. With unique advantages in developing intelligent cockpit systems, alongside its leading automotive technologies, Aptiv has been committed to providing comprehensive vehicle electrification solutions to automotive manufacturers.