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Four sensor technologies determine the future of the automotive industry

发布时间:7/29/2020 4:42:25 PM

Human beings have various ideas about the unmanned driving experience, and the next-generation sensors currently being developed will become the ultimate decisive factor.
At present, sensors are an indispensable part of modern car design to meet various needs. They have played a great role in helping automobile manufacturers produce safer, lower energy consumption and more comfortable models. In the future, sensors can also help vehicles improve their degree of automation, thereby benefiting the entire industry.

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Smart observation

In addition to complete controllability and data processing capabilities, intelligent observation is also one of the prerequisites for autopilot. In order to achieve complete observability, the car needs to process various parameter data, including speed, current, pressure, temperature, positioning, proximity detection, gesture recognition and so on.

In recent years, proximity detection and gesture recognition technology has made great progress, while ultrasonic sensors and time of flight (ToF) have begun to be used in automobiles.

Ultrasonic sensor

With the improvement of vehicle automation, we not only rely on the unprecedented innovation brought about by new technologies, but also need to witness more mature automotive technologies being applied to new autonomous driving scenarios.

For example, the typical application of the current reversing radar as an ultrasonic sensor is only an auxiliary driving system installed on a bumper. The limitation of this system is that the driving speed cannot exceed 10 km/h, and it cannot achieve 100% accurate distance measurement in close range detection.

In addition, in self-driving vehicles, ultrasonic sensors can be combined with radio frequency radar, cameras, and other sensor technologies to provide a more complete distance measurement function.

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  Gesture Recognition

Ultrasonic sensor technology is used to observe the outside world, while ToF cameras focus on the interior of the car. The transition to driverless driving will be a gradual process. Therefore, in certain specific situations, the driver needs to switch from driverless mode back to manual mode. ,this point is very important.

At present, with the help of the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) mechanism, the car can only partially realize unmanned driving, and the driver may need human intervention at any time. It is expected that in the next few years, the auto industry will further increase the level of automation, but even so, drivers still need to perform manual control in certain environments (for example, when the car is driving in the city center). To change this situation, it will take a long time. Before realizing unmanned driving, cars need to provide warnings to drivers. Therefore, real-time monitoring of the driver's location and activities is essential.

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Although ToF technology is still in its infancy, it has begun to be applied in automobiles. For example, when the driver is not concentrated, the technology can alert the driver and make the vehicle drive to the side of the road. In addition, it can also implement various functions based on gesture recognition, such as increasing the volume of the radio or answering incoming calls through a sliding hand gesture.

Of course, the potential applications of ToF are far more than that. As people continue to explore more advanced autonomous driving technologies, it will play a more critical role. The ToF camera will be able to depict the posture of the driver’s entire upper body in three dimensions, thereby determining whether the driver’s head is facing the road ahead and whether their hands are on the steering wheel.

Three-dimensional image of traffic conditions

Today’s adaptive cruise control systems use radar to measure the distance between the car and the vehicle in front. This technology performs well on highways, but in urban environments, because the distance is shorter and the approach directions of pedestrians and/or vehicles are more diverse, more precise location measurements are required.

One solution is to increase the camera so that the distance can be better determined. However, current image processing hardware cannot detect all important features at the required speed and reliability to ensure safe driving. And this happens to be the advantage of lidar.

The working principle of lidar is the same as that of radar, which is based on measuring the reflected signal of the transmitted signal. Radar relies on radio waves, while lidar uses light beams (such as lasers). Calculate the distance to an object or surface by measuring the elapsed time between the transmitted pulse and the receipt of the reflected signal of the pulse.

The biggest advantage of    lidar is that it can detect smaller objects than radar. Unlike the camera for environmental observation on the focal plane, lidar can perform accurate and relatively detailed 3D rendering. With this feature, regardless of the lighting conditions (day or night), lidar can easily distinguish objects from the front and rear objects. With the declining price of lidar technology and the further development of related technologies, this method will be more widely used.

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Human beings have various ideas for the unmanned driving experience, and the next-generation sensors currently under development will become the final determining factor. Driven by the above-mentioned innovations, future cars will be able to provide clear and continuously updated surrounding conditions and keep abreast of the external environment and the dynamics of the people in the car. Therefore, induction technology will become a key factor determining the future development of the automotive industry.

Zhejiang Topyauld Technology Co.,Ltd.
No. 1 Dongyuan Road, Ruian Intl. Auto Parts and Motorcycle parts Industrial Park
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