Further development of automotive data transmission – a pre-requisite for the connected car

Tech Talk is a series of interviews that introduce you to some inspiring personalities within and outside of MD and the world of technology, innovation, and more.

In this edition, we talk to Anna-Maria Girschitzka, Junior Application Engineer at MD. We discuss her work at MD, the future role of data cables in the vehicle and the developments that suppliers need to adapt to.

Anna-Maria, please tell us a little bit about yourself. What led you to us and what do you appreciate most about your work at MD?

My name is Anna Girschitzka, I’m 25 and I work as a Junior Application Engineer in the area of Sales International at MD ELEKTRONIK. After my apprenticeship in car sales, I decided to study industrial engineering and management. Before joining MD in March 2023, I had the opportunity to gain 2 years of experience at a leading global manufacturer of connector systems. What I appreciate most about my work at MD is the variety of tasks, the international networking inside and outside the company, and my great colleagues.

How will the role of data cables in the car develop in the next few years?

Vehicles are increasingly becoming networked platforms. These “computers on wheels” with their highly developed onboard networks depend on reliable and fast data transmission in order to fulfill their tasks. Not only will the demand for data cables continue to increase but they must also keep pace with the growing requirements for data rates, safety and compatibility. With the advance of autonomous vehicles, networked services and the need for the seamless integration of different vehicle systems, the importance of robust, fast and secure data transmission systems will continue to increase. Just imagine what would happen if a self-driving vehicle could no longer detect traffic signals or obstacles on the road in time because of a broken data connection. Here it becomes particularly clear what a central role data cables will play in the course of these developments in road traffic.

What concrete developments make it necessary to further develop onboard networks?

Functions such as real-time image processing, Lidar data analysis, radar and V2X communication will become part of everyday life in all vehicle classes and take over some or all of the driver’s tasks. An advanced on-board network makes it possible to integrate and coordinate these systems in order to achieve safe, self-driving vehicles. The integration of the Internet of Things (IoT) into the vehicle is also leading to an exponential increase in data volumes which are generated by sensors and other sources inside and outside the vehicle. And this takes us back again to the central role of data cables, as already mentioned, without which these developments would be unthinkable, as interference-free communication between the computing units and the various data sources is of utmost importance.

What does this mean for suppliers in the onboard network sector?

To meet these requirements and future standards, new technologies must be constantly developed, where the focus is on reducing weight and installation space, minimizing latency times and improving data security.

Onboard networks must be modular and scalable in order to facilitate the adaptation to new technologies and system updates. This is particularly important as the technology for self-driving vehicles is developing rapidly. A modular architecture makes it possible to extend or replace systems easily and without having to redevelop the entire onboard network.

Demands for the quality of components are also increasing. The materials and designs of connectors and cables must be able to withstand demanding conditions in the vehicle, such as vibrations, temperature fluctuations and humidity. Therefore, choosing the right shielding technology and materials is crucial. Similarly, the influence of electromagnetic interference must be minimized in order to protect the integrity of the transmitted data whilst meeting all safety requirements. And all of this is true with increasingly compact and lightweight components.

How is MD tackling these challenges?  

MD pursues a holistic approach. The production systems developed and built in-house are precisely tailored to current and future requirements and provide the necessary speed, precision and flexibility to meet increasing demands such as narrow manufacturing tolerances, miniaturisation and traceability. At the same time, targeted investments in manufacturing capacities are securing the supply capacity in the long term.

MD is also promoting its own product development in order to be prepared for future demands.  One example are optical data transmission solutions which offer even higher transmission speeds and are insensitive to electromagnetic interference. Their introduction into the automotive sector could revolutionize data communication in the vehicle as they would enable even faster reaction times and greater reliability.

Anna-Maria, many thanks for this really interesting discussion!

Innovations in development and production for future data transmission solutions 

The role of data cables in vehicles is changing as cars are increasingly becoming networked platforms. Alongside the pure number of data cables, requirements for data transmission are also increasing, particularly with regard to speed and security. Therefore, on-board network suppliers must develop new technologies, geared towards performance, saving space and weight, and the highest demands for quality. On-board networks must be modular, powerful and robust in order to meet the challenges of the future.

MD ELEKTRONIK is addressing these challenges, on the one hand with production systems that it has developed and built itself, and on the other, with targeted investments in its own product developments such as optical data transmission solutions. Both are key aspects enabling it, as a reliable and innovative supplier, to offer the right components for the mobility of the future.

High-performance, extremely reliable data connections are the backbone of automotive road transport. MD ELEKTRONIK is at the forefront of these technologies and leading the way with an international network of experts.

Contact MD now and find out more about the latest innovations.

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Anna-Maria Girschitzka

Since completing her studies in industrial engineering in April 2023, Anna-Maria Girschitzka has been working in Application Engineering where she is responsible for technical customer support. Her former apprenticeship in car sales paved the way towards her career in the automotive sector. What she particularly loves about her job is the exchange and collaboration with different international OEMs, and the possibility to play a part in the development of new solutions for complex technological challenges.