MEMS and Sensors: Key-enabling technologies for Automotive ADAS and HUD systems

Jari Honkanen, Director of Technical Marketing and Applications Development, MicroVision, Inc.

While governments and regulators are mandating road safety improvements, and as consumers are asking for safer and less stressful driving experiences, automakers are turning to sensors, electronics, and software to provide Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) features with a vision culminating in self-driving, autonomous vehicles.

The goals for autonomous vehicles range from fewer traffic accidents, reduced insurance costs, and increased productivity to increased fuel efficiency. As a car’s value shifts from mechanics to software and electronics to meet these expectations, there is a significant opportunity for a new class of component suppliers, such as MEMS/sensors providers, to experience growth in the automotive ecosystem.

ADAS Applications

Current sensor technologies available for today’s ADAS systems like camera sensors, RADAR, Sonar, and LIDAR have their individual advantages and limitations. As we look to the future, new sensors such as those enabled by MicroVision’s MEMS scanned LIDAR sensor concept can be applied to a variety of different ADAS applications including lane departure warning, blind spot detection, and parking assistance to further advance the vehicle’s performance.

HUD Applications

MEMS devices can also be applied to Automotive Laser Beam Scanning (LBS) head-up displays in embedded and aftermarket solutions. Benefits include reduced driver distraction and thus, increased driver safety. HUD systems can also be integrated with ADAS to display information and alerts. Existing windshield applications project pivotal information within the driver’s line of sight. In the future, augmented reality is expected to play a role in the display of driver safety and infotainment material.

Automobiles in the future are likely to contain multiple MEMS devices, creating both opportunities and challenges for the MEMS industry and supply chain.

Jari Hokanan is the Director of Technical Marketing and Applications Development at MicroVision Inc. He will speak further on the topic of MEMS and sensors at this year’s MEMS and Sensors Executive Congress 2016. Click here to register.