A guide to sensors that complement ADAS, autonomous vehicles

Article By : Majeed Ahmad

AspenCore’s new book “Sensors in Automotive: Making Cars See and Think Ahead” canvases the vast landscape encompassing radars, LiDARs, vision cameras, and depth sensors.

Sensors are reshaping automotive design architectures that span from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to autonomous vehicles (AVs) and connected cars to precision maps. So, how does one cruise this vast design landscape encompassing radars, LiDARs, vision cameras, and more?

photo of the book cover for the AspenCore Guide to Sensors in Automotive

A new book from AspenCore Media attempts to make sense of the sensor labyrinth in modern vehicles. “AspenCore Guide to Sensors in Automotive: Making Cars See and Think Ahead” provides a detailed treatment of how sensors complement the rapidly evolving automotive design world while covering devices as simple as MEMS and as complex as depth sensors.

Start with the diverging paths of sensing and computing designs where AI accelerators loom large on the computing side. How will the sensing part complement computing? The book explains how Sony, the leading supplier of image sensors, incorporates AI blocks into its event-based automotive camera designs.

Then there is a chapter dedicated to the sensor fusion conundrum and yet-to-be-solved problems in this critical area. The book also delves into rarely covered topics like automotive sensor degradation, how engineers can measure it, and subsequently, take steps to mitigate it. Startup firm Obsurver’s Benjamin May calls degradation in automotive cameras the elephant in the room.

Also, while car OEMs don’t see an easy path from ADAS to AVs, as noted by Junko Yoshida, AspenCore’s global editor-in-chief, a one-on-one interview with Intel subsidiary Mobileye’s chief Amnon Shashua provides clarity on the chasm between the ADAS and AV worlds. Shashua also weighs in on the choice of radars and LiDARs.

Tesla’s chief recently made waves by calling LiDAR a fool’s errand. The book takes a closer look and finds out that the proliferation of LiDAR in automated vehicles is tied to cheaper, smaller, and more reliable sensors with fewer moving parts.

part of the AspenCore Guide to Sensors in Automotive book cover showing cars and a biker
AspenCore Guide to Sensors in Automotive: Making Cars See and Think Ahead
is available at the EE Times bookstore.

 

Among the case studies that the book presents, one relates to Waymo spearheading the fifth-generation sensor system that includes five LiDAR units and 29 cameras in its vision system. It’s worth mentioning here that Waymo was the first company to embrace LiDAR in robotaxis.

“Sensors in Automotive: Making Cars See and Think Ahead” also provides ample information on where autopilot stands today. Another crucial question relates to the future of fully-autonomous vehicles, and here, Nitin Dahad uses facts and figures available from industry sources to find out that level 5 AVs are unlikely to arrive before 2035.

However, a lot of developments are going to happen between now and 2035, and the book offers case studies, industry projections, and expert opinions for this golden age of automotive design, where sensors are at the forefront. That includes graphic details of the future AV roadmaps.

AspenCore, the publisher of “Sensors in Automotive: Making Cars See and Think Ahead,” is also the publisher of EDN.

This article was originally published on EDN.

Majeed Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of EDN, has covered the electronics design industry for more than two decades.

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