In a not so distant future we may still be sharing the road but not driving our own cars. Autonomous vehicles are becoming less like something out of a science fiction novel, and more likely to become a real world phenomenon in the form of a consumer electronics product.
Various tech companies are working toward autonomous cars, and it is also a concept in which auto manufacturers are displaying interest.
For this to happen, cars need to be outfitted with a wide array of sensors and semiconductors. Luckily, the sensors are mostly available already and the technology exists, appearing in semi-autonomous vehicles that are already on the market.
For a fully autonomous vehicle, lots of technology is needed, from sensors to radars and camera systems, as well as long range cameras, laser radar, and various other sensors and trackers.
This means that your average family car will no longer just be a car — it will be a consumer electronics product. Outfitted with a complete set of sensors, these vehicles will be virtually unrecognizable from their original counterparts — this is not your great-grandfather’s car!
All of this technology is needed, however, to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe. The technology that is being developed is being heavily researched so that autonomous vehicles can be safely introduced onto the market.
Manufacturers will have to contend with a sometimes wary public, meaning the push for finely tuned sensors, semiconductors, and other technology makes sense from a commercial standpoint. To ride in an autonomous car, you have to trust that it will work just as well as it is supposed to.
Semiconductor technology is growing and changing just as quickly as the interest in autonomous vehicles is growing. From technology that makes optical isolation easier, to quartz wafers and other materials that can work with or replace some traditional substrates, the research and development going on in the industry goes hand in hand with technological advancements in other industries, like the automotive industry.
As high tech products like autonomous vehicles become commonplace in our world, do not be surprised to see other automated, connected products enter onto the market as well. The Internet of Things is intriguing to many people, both consumers and manufacturers, and automated vehicles are just one of the products that may become a consumer electronics product. Technology is always improving, and the products we use every day are improving alongside it.