The Three Keys to Enabling Autonomous Driving


As the mobility revolution progresses through advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and evolves toward fully autonomous driving systems (ADS), on-board electronics are becoming more sophisticated, interconnected, and crucial for safe vehicle operation.

This article provides an overview of the three key elements that must work seamlessly together within ADS implementations for achieving Advanced Mobility success.

All living organisms must be able to sense their surroundings, determine appropriate responses and act accordingly. Much like living organisms, advanced mobility systems need to Sense the environment, Think in order to make optimal decisions, and Act in real time to avoid hazards and achieve desired results.
Figure 1 – Sense, Think, Act for Autonomous Driving
Both organisms and advanced vehicles need to prioritize some stimuli above others based on criticality of an immediate response.

For over six decades, Interplex has helped automotive OEMs and Tier 1s design and manufacture new electronics systems, including sensors, control units, servomotors and networks for implementing advanced Sense, Think, Act capabilities.


Accurately sensing the constantly changing environment and identifying potential hazards in real time is the first critical step in the Sense, Think, Act paradigm.
Figure 2 – Sensing the constantly changing environment
Figure 3 – Interplex Radar Interconnect
Today’s advanced mobility vehicles need continuous inputs from a variety of sensors in order to achieve a complete and actionable picture of dynamically shifting conditions. For example, RADAR, LiDAR and camera sensors capture different aspects of the external environment. Combining these sensor streams together provides a comprehensive, 360-degree view across a variety of weather, day-or-night, and visibility conditions. Sensors inside the vehicle cabin also provide important information to keep drivers and passengers safe and assure a comfortable ride.

Deployment and integration of these complex on-board sensor networks cannot be achieved with standard, off-the-shelf components. Over the course of many years supporting the auto industry, Interplex has developed a wide range of core enabling technologies, from interconnects to modules, that can be cost effectively configured to meet virtually any specific sensor applications, including robust packaging, signal and power interconnects and in-vehicle networking.

Addressing the challenge of integrated housing for sensitive applications, Interplex’s Radar Interconnect provide reliable connection and housing, which physically protect the sensors and manage increasing thermal issues, provide shielding for electro-magnetic interference (EMI) issues, and mitigate vibration and shock issues.


Information captured during the continuous sensing process next needs to be rapidly compiled, categorized, and analyzed to determine the appropriate actions to be taken.
Figure 4 – Thinking involves processing and analyzing data in real time
As the number and variety of sensors increases, the process of continuous sensor sweeps across them all and integrating the dynamically changing input has become very challenging. The next steps in ADAS / ADS evolution will be less about changes in the sensors as it will be about the sheer amount of data that must be processed and analyzed in real time.
Figure 5 – Interplex High-Pin-Count Header
Interplex engineers have been delivering robust, customizable solutions since inception of the earliest automotive Electronic Control Units (ECUs) and we have continued that leadership throughout the evolution of new more powerful ECUs for advanced mobility applications.

We provide solutions for higher speed signaling, such as our High-Pin-Count Header, which is designed to support dense pin-counts, small-footprint applications that require robust packaging. We adopt an eco-friendly modular manufacturing approach that reduces wastage while supporting design flexibility with highly configurable options.

We support design and cost-effective volume production for the full range of powerful and specialized ECUs that are the brains for advanced mobility vehicles.


Ultimately, Sensing and Thinking must result in correct and timely Actions.

The Act part of the paradigm consists of a diverse set of specific subsystems, such as servomotors and actuators for steering, braking, suspension, anti-skid, and other critical functions.
Figure 6 – Automated vehicles implement actions to drive safely to their destinations
Figure 7 – Interplex Multi-Row Board-to-Board Connector
Any latency or failure to Act correctly can literally be a life-or-death situation, therefore the entire end-to-end system must seamlessly handle and respond properly to a full range of both routine and unfamiliar external stimuli.

Interplex has a long track record of designing and producing key customizable technologies such as power interfaces, integrated housings, busbars, stator motor components and our Multi-Row Board-to-Board Connector.

Designed with our proprietary snap-in biscuit design, our Multi-Row Board-to-Board Connector allows multiple connector units to be stacked together without the need for them to be custom built and is ideal for dense pin-count, small footprint applications.

Interplex is deeply experienced in delivering robust solutions for the Act part of the paradigm.


To achieve the ultimate goals of the advanced mobility revolution, the entire on-board Sense, Think, Act ecosystem must seamlessly function as a single organism-like entity.

Similar to how the senses, brain and muscles in the human body are constantly dealing with dynamic changes in our external environment, the inter-related functions in advanced vehicles need to do the same. As many of our bodily actions happen instinctively and unconsciously, the Sense-Think-Act sequences for advanced mobility need to take place immediately and without human intervention.

Just as organisms need highly responsive internal nervous systems, advanced mobility success requires in-vehicle low latency networking to connect sensors, ECUs, servomotors and more. Interplex is a pioneer in delivering cost-effective Automotive Ethernet solutions, which is key in fulfilling this requirement.

Interplex is proud to be an innovation leader for a wide range of the underlying customizable technologies that are enabling the advanced mobility revolution.

In order to achieve optimal holistic Sense, Think, Act solutions, Interplex is often brought into new design processes during initial conception, where we can provide inputs that deliver huge results downstream. The results provide OEMs and Tier 1s with robust solutions optimized for performance, functionality, cost-effective, high-volume production and long lifecycles in harsh automotive environments.

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