Throughout the decade of 2010, new driver assistance features began making their way into the automotive industry, and traffic alerts, lane departure warnings and Wi-Fi and cellular-based LTE data hotspots, were soon commonplace. Navigation services became more and more sophisticated, and were capable of delivering traffic warnings, route planning and local business reviews and recommendations. Drivers were also buying dash cams in growing numbers, to help protect themselves in the event of an accident or event where their legal liability was at stake.
Among some of the most exciting and popular new automotive features were systems like Apple’s CarPlay, Nokia’s MirrorLink and of course, Search engine giant Google’s Android Auto; enabling a car’s dashboard or head unit screen to function as both a controller and display for Android, iOS or Symbian devices and their apps.
Automotive Electronic Components Under The Hood:
Electronic control units (ECU’s) under the hood of cars today incorporate microprocessors and are capable of controlling electronic brakes, transmission, valve timing and anti-theft systems, among others. Some ECU’s can be programmed with a computer, to enable engine monitoring, supercharging, turbocharging, fuel-injection upgrades, exhaust system modifications and gear shift mapping to name but a few.
Electronic Components And Autonomous Vehicles:
Advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, have made their way into many modern vehicles and have features such as automated lighting, lane-departure warnings, pedestrian crash avoidance mitigation (PCAM), automatic lane centering, blind-sot detection, collision avoidance, and can be connected to smartphones to give navigational guidance.
Some companies have already begun using vehicles such as ‘robo-taxi’s’, which are operated using smartphone SAE Autonomy Level 5, and some of these vehicles are driverless.
The Future Of Automotive Electronics:
Autonomous driving is clearly where the automotive industry is heading, and with new technology such as laser-based light detection and ranging, or LiDAR, many navigational problems may be solved, providing costs can be reduced significantly enough for production vehicles.
Automotive electronic control units of the future will be better equipped to manage battery usage of electric cars, charge monitoring and scheduling of recharging times for powering up.
Smart Mobility For The Automotive Industry:
Predicted to have more influence over the control of valves in engines to reduce weights, ECU’s will also use their control to limit bulk and friction in motors, too, with the elimination of lifters, cams, rockers and timing sets.
Passengers in autonomous and shared vehicle will also be making more use of infotainment (information plus entertainment) systems in the future, that can be customized to match the preferences and playlist of the individual.
Overall, the future of automotive electronics looks set to be exciting and innovative, and be of great benefit to both drivers and passengers. Becoming ever smarter, ever safer, and ever more efficient, cars will be capable of doing more than they’ve ever been able to do before, and the electronics industry is busy keeping up with those technologies to stay one step ahead of public demand and expectations.