Preventing Automotive Latent Defects
Today, modern vehicles run on more than 100 thousand lines of digital code, a number predicted to rise six-fold by 2025, and within just ten to twelve years electric and autonomous vehicles are projected to have about half their value in onboard electronics. These are sobering facts when you consider that over thirty percent of today’s field failures are attributable to a vehicle’s electronics. Automotive recalls are not only damaging to a company’s reputation but costly to their bottom line making the impact of a corresponding rise in electronic-related recalls unsustainable.
One known risk to automotive electronics is latent defects; failures that do not show up in testing at the semiconductor fab or in subsequent burn-in testing of a component package. These defects can develop over time leading to failures that can result in safety hazards and expensive recalls.
Electronic defects are already a costly problem, but a number of factors could make them a much more significant problem in the future. The value of electronic components in vehicles is rising and largely attributable to digital control and comfort systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and the continued development of fully autonomous vehicles.
As vehicle cost increases, so does the expectation of “excellence” among buyers as drivers and passengers become more reliant on embedded systems to guide and control their travels. With electronics increasingly incorporated into safety systems and with the advent of self-driving vehicles, electronic system failures can be potentially life threatening. This will intensify demand for recalls when problems arise. And as the usage patterns of vehicles increases, there will be more time for costly latent defects to develop.