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Sensor Fusion: The Automotive 6th Sense

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Advanced sensors involving photonics are ushering in a new era of safety and efficiency.


Advanced vehicles today are full of sensors for monitoring motion, speed, position, pressure, temperature, moisture, and emissions. The number of sensors in cars and trucks will only continue to grow as the demand for advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous vehicles increases. Analysts at Research and Markets predicted in the “Global Automotive Sensor Market Analysis and Forecast” that the automotive sensor market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4% through 2029. Automakers are betting on the rising demand, growing the sensor count in vehicles to enable the 360° mapping and redundancy required by driverless vehicles. When it comes to autonomous vehicle technology designed to replace human drivers, error is unacceptable when interpreting and acting on the surroundings of automated cars; indeed, the technology must be better than humans at managing safe driving decisions.

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Photonics Spectra
May 2020
An acronym of light detection and ranging, describing systems that use a light beam in place of conventional microwave beams for atmospheric monitoring, tracking and detection functions. Ladar, an acronym of laser detection and ranging, uses laser light for detection of speed, altitude, direction and range; it is often called laser radar.
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