Automotive, the Electronics Industry’s New Driver


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The automobile industry is becoming a combination of most of the traditional electronics segments: It’s a consumer product with a computer, communications center, and a few medical monitoring-type tendencies (measuring your alertness, heart rate, etc.), all rolled (no pun intended) into one incredible machine that is influencing our industry as none other.

As automotive electronics quickly becomes the number one market everyone is talking about, we realize that the actual vehicle is only one part of that—think about the massive amount of infrastructure that will need to evolve on highways, in cities and especially the more rural areas, plus the incredible computing power, cameras, etc. Then think about the level of reliability that will be required.

So, as I drive down the street in my small town (without yellow lines or yellow curbs) in the snow at dusk, I am just a little concerned that some automotive companies are looking to 2020 for the first autonomous vehicles to hit the  road  (another  (un)intended  pun).  That’s less  than  two  years!  Can  we  be  ready?  Have  those companies really thought through the requirements, not to mention the necessary reliability of the huge number of parts that must work  seamlessly  and  faultlessly  every  time  without  fail?  The  amount  of  electronics  required  (along  with  the  painted  lines  and  numerous other road guides) is staggering—all to basically duplicate our human brains and bodies. Feel smart and special? Scientists certainly become more amazed by our brains every day.

To read the full version of this article which appeared in the April 2018 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

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