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Sunny Automotive Optech VP -Tani was interviewed by DVN


Sunny Optical Technology Group, established in 1984, are a comprehensive manufacturer of optical components and products. Sunny Automotive, a core subsidiary, came onstream in 2004 to focus on R&D, production, and manufacturing of automotive optical products. Their first automotive sensing lens entered mass production in 2006. From 2012 up to now, their market share has been № 1 in the world in their field; that's 10 consecutive years. Sunny Automotive Optech have cooperated with world-renowned tier-1 suppliers, and Sunny lenses equip cars from the world's major makers including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Ford. Since 2015, Sunny have successively entered emerging fields such as HUDs, lidar, and smart vehicle lights.

Tani Gu is Sunny Automotive's deputy general manager. She has been deeply involved in the automotive field for more than ten years; has a profound automotive optics and industry background; and has extensive practical experience in strategic planning; market development; customer relations, and product management. She graciously honored DVN with an interview:

谷总

DVN: Sunny's original business was automotive lenses. What drove you to enter the automotive lamps market?

Tani Gu: As for automotive lamps, the traditional cognition is only for lighting, to illuminating the dark. However, with the development of intelligent driving, it is a trend to realize information interaction via car itself, and the market and industry have also put forward much more demands for this function. Lamps are good medium for information interaction, except the original lighting function, it need to realize information interaction, in other words, the automotive projection headlight must equip with projection function. Since the projection function is involved, it is not the traditional lighting optics category, but the imaging optics. Since its establishment, Sunny Automotive Optech has been focusing on the field of imaging optics, which is our biggest strength, so we began to enter the automotive lamps market in 2017.

DVN: Sunny's original business was automotive lenses. What drove you to enter the automotive lamps market?

Tani Gu: As for automotive lamps, the traditional cognition is only for lighting, to illuminating the dark. However, with the development of intelligent driving, it is a trend to realize information interaction via car itself, and the market and industry have also put forward much more demands for this function. Lamps are good medium for information interaction, except the original lighting function, it need to realize information interaction, in other words, the automotive lamps must equip with projection function. Since the projection function is involved, it is not the traditional lighting optics category, but the imaging optics. Since its establishment, Sunny Automotive Optech has been focusing on the field of imaging optics, which is our biggest strength, so we began to enter the automotive lamps market in 2017.

DVN: What are the advantages and challenges with Sunny's lamps?

Tani Gu: Sunny has been focusing on imaging optics, it has accumulated profound experience in imaging optics. In terms of lens design, good thermal compensation characteristics can ensure stable imaging under high and low temperature, and the special lens processing technology can effectively solve the problem of sunlight flooding and color edge. Sunny has been rooted in the automotive industry for many years and has a relatively deep understanding of car regulations. It can well apply the imaging optics and automotive grade regulations experience on the automotive lenses to the automotive lamps.

However, automotive lamps and automotive lens are also very different. Automotive lamps must realize both lighting and projection. The core parameters (such as brightness, illuminance, contrast, projection distance, lighting range, etc.) are different from automotive lens. The requirements are also more stringent, so it is more complicated situation when we design the imaging lens for automotive lamp.

DVN: With the pandemic and chip shortages in mind, what are your views and insights on future development?

Tani Gu: I think it is an opportunity from a general perspective. We can see that intelligent development in the future is an inevitable trend. Now due to the epidemic and lack of chips, the market development has slowed down compared with the previous years.

But from another point of view, because of the current shortage of resources, everyone is more focused, concentrated on solving the main contradiction, and more prudent in the layout and planning of the company's future development. Therefore, we can see that many new car manufacturers in China have made great efforts in recent years. They continue to break through and innovate, which is an excellent opportunity for them. If they seize it, it can even allow Chinese manufacturers to succeed in overtaking in automotive field and enhance their brand awareness in the global market.

DVN: On that current background, then, what opportunities or challenges do you see for Sunny Automotive?

Tani Gu: Intelligent vehicles and autonomous driving are inevitable development trends. Sunny has been committed to provide optical solutions for autonomous and intelligent driving. In addition to the imaging lamp products with interactive functions, such as automotive headlamp, ground projection lamps, cabin projection lamps, and products with sensing functions, such as sensing lenses, have huge market potential, and we are very optimistic about the sensing market. As constantly upgrade of autonomous driving levels and the need for safety redundancy, the demand for lidar will keep rise up. In recent years, Sunny has continued to increase the layout of the lidar field. From this year, a variety of products for lidar applications will be put into mass production; at the same time, with the development of smart cockpit, the HUD market is emerging, and there will be more abundant applications in the future. At present, many of our products for automobile hud applications have achieved mass production.

However, with the rapid development of "automobile + optics" market, we will face more and more competitors and also bigger challenge. But Sunny always insists on providing customers with satisfactory products and services, continuously improving the company's competitiveness, and actively responding to all the challenges.

DVN: What Sunny innovations can we look forward to seeing at the 25th DVN Workshop in Shanghai this September?

Tani Gu: Sunny Automotive Optech has successfully developed array projector lamp, with exclusive IP, which can achieve miniaturization; high definition, and more flexible imaging content. It can not only cast information interactive content, such as welcome patterns, but also project warning content, such as reversing warning signs, to meet the needs of personalized projection. At the same time, the mounting position is flexible and can be installed anywhere on the vehicle body. And depends on customer needs, to provide overall vehicle projection solutions, Sunny welcome industry personnel to exchange and discuss at any time at sunnyoptical.com.


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