There are as many as 30 sensors in an advanced engine and 150+ sensors in a passenger car today. Many sensors support well-established functions—accelerometers for airbags, speed sensors for the engine, and pressure in the intake manifold—while others enable completely new features like active noise cancellation, Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) systems, or heads-up (HUD) displays. Behind the developments are a combination of the harsh competitive environment and continual push from governments around the world to make greener and safer vehicles.
However, as this sensor number grows, is there a chance that sensor fusion will begin to cannibalize the market? With concerns on vehicle weight and OEMs looking to shave even fractions of g / km of carbon dioxide (CO2), there is a strong argument to replace sensors with so-called “virtual” sensors. In Europe, this scenario can already be observed as software-driven indirect tire pressure monitors to replace dedicated pressure sensing in some cases. On the other hand, on-board diagnostic regulations dictate more sensing at the point of measurement.
In this paper, presented at the MEMS Technical Congress in Munich, Germany on 7 March 2016, Richard Dixon, PhD of IHS discusses this phenomenon and its implications, with a six-year outlook for automotive MEMS and magnetic sensors.*
*Data for this presentation was taken from the IHS Automotive Sensor Intelligence Service - H2 2015.