Altek CEO 專訪｜AEI・BETについて April 2020 | 株式会社電波新聞社 | Altek Technology Zeroes in on AI, Sensing
Altek Corporation has expanded its business focusing on original design manufacturing (ODM) of digital cameras and made an inroad into the automotive industry around 2005. The company has developed rear cameras and surround view cameras by using digital camera technology it has earned through the years.
Amid rapid changes in the environment surrounding automotive electronic parts in recent years, Altek has shifted its focus from the conventional “viewing” function to “detect” and gaze around the improvement of sensing function. The company specifically focuses on the development of sensing technology combined with artificial intelligence (AI).
With vehicle operation control, the company delivers camera modules equipped with AI chip to vehicle operation control companies. A two-lens camera module with AI is installed on the front glass and controls inside and outside of vehicle, enabling automatic communication in an event of an emergency, such as an accident.
In addition, it also has a monitoring function, which issues a warning to the driver. Thus, it covers vehicle operation control system, which becomes unmanageable with manpower with the expansion of fleet vehicles. Furthermore, the AI-equipped camera modules improve efficiency of operation control and reduces accidents and hence insurance premiums for operating companies. For this reason, market needs have been expanding.
At the same time, Altek also engages in the development of camera modules for automated delivery vehicles that play a part in the “last one mile of transportation,” which emerges as a challenge with the expansion of autonomous driving. Trial demonstration has already started in some areas of North America.
Altek’s strength in the development of camera modules is internally developed AI chips. They feature small size and low power. While other companies handle high-power chips, Altek considers that low-power chips that do not apply load on on-board battery would become a significant weapon, setting its sights on the future expansion of EVs. At the same time, the company also focuses attention on the trend of 5G. The company expects that business-to-business transactions will expand amid the advancement of complex control technologies in tandem with the expansion of the adoption of 5G.
Alex Hsia, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, says, “Amid the expansion of automotive electronics business, the importance of AI-based camera modules will increase. In addition to their use for in-car sensing, such as automated air conditioning through detection of passengers, replacement of back mirrors and side mirrors with cameras require highly advanced sensing function. We would like to show our presence to car manufacturers as well in addition to making approaches to tier one automotive suppliers.”