On 18 April, the largest auto show in the world - the 20th Shanghai International Auto Show opened its doors, with multiple brands launching new models one after the other, all enjoying the post-Covid recovery boom of the automotive industry. Other than the cars themselves, there was also a series of eye-catching vehicle-related tech products, making everyone full of anticipation for the future of cars. As one of China’s leaders in the area of automotive optoelectronics, ASU has launched 3 new products in one sitting after the successful launch of their first product - the AR tailgate - back in 2022. Now, they are building new user scenarios by making new technology and new products, through ‘combining software and hardware’. Appearing at the NECC, showroom 7A12, they are showing the innovative capabilities of a new technological firm in rapid ascendency, truly reflecting the theme of the show - ‘embracing the new age of the automotive industry’.
As the first company to focus on LCoS technology in the country, ASU has built the ASU Cast optical engine, applying it to virtual display products. This promptly solved the ‘stranglehold’ issue imposed by the DLP technology by Texas Instruments of the US, making LCoS a central part of the independent control and domestic substitution process.
Not only leading in terms of technology, ASU is also in a similar position in terms of its smart manufacturing capabilities. Having developed and integrated the domestic supply chain, self-developed and self-produced optical engines and end products, acquiring rich experience in optical and optoelectronic design, manufacturing process and mass production techniques. Today, more than 100,000 ASU Cast optical engines have been produced and delivered for several ASU produced products including laser TVs, smart projectors and automotive virtual display products.
Since its establishment in 2015, ASU has formed four underlying technology platforms: advanced optical system, smart software, smart algorithm, and control-automated precision machinery. It is a leading figure in China in the fields of laser display, freeform optics, customized optical system design, and all-scenario display technology. The company has more than 100 patents, more than half of which are invention patents.
Having laid out the whole optical industry supply chain, ASU has now become a leader in laser virtual display and relevant virtual interaction technology.
As a leader in domestic optical system technology, ASU has been digging deep in the field of automotive optoelectronics for a great number of years and has achieved fruitful results. At the exhibition, ASU brought three products to demonstrate: the AR tailgate, the LFP light field welcome light, and the AR-HUD PGU, reflecting their thinking and practice in closely following the trend of smart automotives and optimizing the automotive user experience. ASU is in possession of the 16949 automotive standard system of the automotive industry, and is a designated or mass-produced T1 supplier of FAW, BAIC, Great Wall, Dongfeng and Chery.
In the everyday scenario, it is very inconvenient to open the tailgate whilst holding heavy objects, and the currently existing "kick" operation method on the market has the problem of inaccurate recognition and the hidden danger of getting struck by the door. The AR tailgate created by ASU can completely solve these points of problem.
This novel smart technology can bring the users a refreshing experience, adding points of merit to the vehicle and bring positive impacts to the car companies. It is claimed that many car companies including Hongqi, Great Wall, Dongfeng, BAIC, and Jietu have selected ASU as their designated supplier and intend to equip 12 different models of cars with the AR tailgate.
In the past, the welcome light was only available for a selected range of luxury brand models, in addition to providing lighting and improve safety, it is also a decoration that reflects a sense of dignity, personality, taste and a sense of ceremonial attitude. For instance, the iconic ‘Angel Wings’ of BMW, which has a great visual impact, enhances the brand's identity, and meets the needs of customers who desire to show their individuality and identity.
With the advancement of smart automotives, more and more domestic car companies and new forces in the industry are also turning their attention to the welcome light to enhance the brand identity. ASU also exhibited its own LFP light field welcome light products at the exhibition.
LFP light field welcome lights can be expanded to more application scenarios, and ASU can even provide editable and interactive smart light field welcome light solutions to further help the development of smart automotives. If there is a will, there is a way!
ASU is focused on technology development and research in the field of smart automotives, and the HUD system is undoubtedly the core equipment in the smart automotive interior. At the show, an AR-HUD PGU made from a self-developed LCoS projector was exhibited.
AR-HUD requires good viewing range, influenced width, virtual image distance, etc., and has higher requirements for PGU and projection optical path technology, which fully reflects the profound strength and technical confidence of ASU in virtual display technology.
Outdoor camping is a new trendy lifestyle for young people nowadays. Bring your friends to the countryside to get close to nature, slow down the pace of life, and enjoy the holiday time. If you can watch a film during the experience, it must be a lot of fun. Out of insight from such demands, ASU released the camping trip audio and video artifact - the mobile in-car theatre, on display at the BAIC booth, bringing the giant-screen theatre with the vehicle, so that the outdoor camping experience can have added "sound" and "colour".
The audience at the exhibition were quite amazed by the power of the in-car theatre.
This product not only demonstrates ASU’s ability to create end products for consumer electronics and automotive brands, but also shows deep thinking in improving the "smart automotives user experience".
It is worth mentioning that ASU is a strategic incubation project established by Haier Group, with an investment of 40 million, and its "independent innovation" DNA has also been favoured and highly recognized by the industry and capital market. After multiple rounds of equity financing, the cumulative financing amount has exceeded 500 million. As of now, the shareholders of ASU are mainly composed of entrepreneurial teams, industrial capital, government guidance funds, and financial institutions. This includes Haier Group, Xiaomi Inc., Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., Ltd., Shenzhen Investment Holdings Co., Ltd., Beijing Zhonghai Investment Management Co., Ltd., Essence Securities Co., Ltd., and other industry-leading enterprises in each of the institutes, gathering rich resources from local governments and industrial/financial resources, contributing to the optical technology innovation of ASU. At the same time, with the R&D and mass production of new technologies and new products, the profitability of ASU continues to increase, and the company is also planning to apply for an IPO on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, hoping to become a potential stock there.
Through the automotive optoelectronic products exhibited by ASU, we can appreciate the vigorous creativity of this cutting-edge technology company. In the future, we believe that ASU can continue to carry the banner of the local optical display industry, persistently explore in the field of automotive optoelectronic products, and create more products with excellent performance, stability and reliability, through research and development level of cutting-edge optical technology and high-end manufacturing capacity of optical products, and promote the process of smart automotives.