Autonomous Driving Vehicles Enabled by Technology Advances
Overview of the Autonomous Vehicle Market
A variety of prototypes are currently being tested in the R&D centers of automobile companies and universities, with expected launch dates by 2020. According to a report by Market Research Future, the global autonomous vehicles market is expected to reach US $65.3 billion by 2027. Regionally, North America holds the biggest share at 39.08% of the global market and is expected to reach US $24.40 billion by 2027. However, the Asia-pacific region is expected to be the fastest growing segment at 29.02% CAGR from 2016 to 2017 and is anticipated to surpass Europe, which is currently the second largest market region.
Anticipated Benefits of Autonomous Vehicles
Key Enabling Technology Areas
- Know where they are.
- Accurately sense their surroundings in real-time.
- Intelligently integrate multiple streams of data to accurately make on-the-fly decisions and adjustments such as instantaneous braking, acceleration, steering, and so on.
- Communicate with other autonomous vehicles to enable prediction-based driving decisions that improve safety, reduce traffic and reduce need for external controls such as traffic lights.
Vehicle to Everything (V2X) Communications
The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has been researching and testing a variety of connected mobility approaches for vehicles to sense their surroundings and communicate this information to other vehicles, infrastructure, and even personal mobile devices. The top 3 communication targets are Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P).
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Multiple Sensors and Sensor Fusion for Monitoring Road Conditions, Hazards, and Pedestrians
LiDAR sensors can generally provide more detailed information, but RADAR sensors are significantly less expensive. RADAR is also less impacted by rain, fog or dust, while LiDAR is better at sensing details such as which direction pedestrians are facing. Many manufacturers use a mix of sensor types to get the most complete picture. For example, the new Tesla vehicles combine RADAR sensors with 8 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors.
In addition, sensor fusion is an important technology and packaging approach that effectively integrates sensors with Electronic Control Unit (ECU) processors. This tight device-level integration enables smaller, compact devices as well as improved performance and reliability.
Robust On-board Systems are Critical for Success
- Ambient temperatures ranging from -40°C to +150°C (SAE Class II-IV)
- Ability to handle constant thermal cycling, vibration and shock
- Ability to interconnect sensors with complex control circuitry
- Capability to embed interconnects within sensors and molded enclosures
- Embedding radiofrequency (RF) shielding to protect signal integrity and reduce interference
Vehicle manufacturers need fundamentally solid building blocks, such as sensor fusion within high density ECUs, and molded sensor enclosures with embedded robust interconnects, to turn their ideas on autonomous vehicles into a reality. In addition, they need reliable, cost-effective solutions to support real-time streaming between multiple sensors and centralized autonomous AI functions.
As the autonomous vehicle revolution continues to accelerate, the key proof points for widespread adoption will fundamentally depend on the willingness of consumers to accept the experience of being driven by a non-human system. In turn, that consumer acceptance will depend on the robust, consistent performance and safety record of the underlying systems.