Importance of Engine Control Unit in Compact Vehicles 

The automobile industry has evolved significantly over the years, with modern cars having engines with a complexity that was never imagined by the developers of the first car.

Automotive Engine control unit (ECU) plays a major role in handling the complexities of the modern engine and its performance.

Engine Control Unit (ECU) is considered as the brain of the engine in the industry. Sometimes also referred to as ECM (Electronic Control Module), ECU is basically a computing system, a switching system, and a power management system all put together in a compact case.

ECU is fundamentally responsible for carrying out the most basic as well as most sophisticated mechanisms like fuel injection, spark ignition, controlling idle speed, and variable valve timing by using data from microprocessors and sensors to perform in real-time

Influence of ECU on Performance

Apart from being in charge of these things, ECUs also make sure that the vehicle meets the permitted emissions standards. As the demand for fuel-efficient vehicles with lower emission rates grows, the role of ECUs becomes more important than before. ECU monitors and regulates fuel mixture to ensure that the car is not emitting pollutants that exceed allowed limit and go beyond established parameters. 

ECU performs its functions by constantly monitoring the vast network of sensors, making sure all things are in perfect operating range along with maintaining a smarter and better fuel economy and reducing emission levels. Furthermore, ECU also takes care of various other features, thanks to the real-time data it receives from microprocessors and network of sensors it constantly engages with. Few such features which help the vehicle achieve a better responsive performance are anti-skid braking, cruise control, and theft protection.

With the demand for compact things that can handle multiple tasks singlehandedly growing by the day, the importance of ECU is on the rise owing to its multifunctional and robust features.

These sophisticated, technologically advanced devices have evolved into various types to perform complex mechanisms necessary for the smooth operation of a modern engine.

Types of ECUs used in automobiles include Powertrain Control Module, Body Control Module, Safety, and Security Control Module, Vehicle Control Module, Communication, and Navigation Control Module, Engine Control Module, Human Machine Interface, and Transmission Control Module.

The compact vehicle segment is the largest market segment in the automotive industry, with a positive growth rate and huge market share followed by the midsized vehicles segment.

The market value of the compact vehicles segment is estimated to grow during the forecasted period, reaching around 15 billion dollars by the end of the year 2022.

With a rise in the market share of compact vehicles, global ECU market is also poised to see noteworthy growth. Compact vehicles are using more number of ECUs in their designs to ensure the higher performance of the engine and vehicle. These numbers can range anywhere from 80 to 100.

The market potential of the ECUs is huge owing to their multitasking capabilities of complex functionalities. According to a report published by Future Market Insights, the Automotive Engine control unit market is expected to grow with an exceptional growth rate throughout the projected period of 5 years from 2017 to 2022.  With healthy growth in CAGR, the market valuation for ECUs is expected to be closer to 50 billion dollars by the end of the year 2022.

Some of the key players in the global ECU market are Robert Bosch GMBH, Magneti Marelli S.p.A, Continental AG, Denso Corporation, Autoliv Inc., Takata Corporation, Hitachi Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, and Delphi Automotive Plc

In order to attain a noteworthy market share in the coming years, the commercial vehicle segment is also expected to show significant growth, quotes the study.

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