Automobiles

Expert Voices

What's behind the boom in automotive semiconductor startups

Illustration of a semiconductor chip
Illustration:Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A slew of semiconductor startups are gaining traction in the automotive industry, some of which even have funding from automakers and suppliers — a development that signals a major shift in this space.

The big picture: Startups hoping to enter the automotive chip market used to encounter skeptical manufacturers and an industry that frowned upon cash-poor startups. But demand for innovation in connectivity, sensor technology and processing capability has opened the field up for them.

Why Audi's small electric vehicle recall matters

An Audi E-Tron electric SUV is displayed during the May London Motor and Tech Show. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images
An Audi E-Tron electric SUV is displayed during the May London Motor and Tech Show. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Audi yesterday announced a small and voluntary recall of its first fully electric vehicle in the U.S., the luxury E-Tron SUV, due to a fire risk.

Why it matters: Yes, recalls happen in the car industry. But it's coming at a sensitive time as the EV market is still getting off the ground.