With a little help from ADAS

High-quality sensors key to advanced driving-assistance systems

Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) are developed to automate, adapt and/or enhance vehicle systems for safety and better driving. 

pedestrian detection
Vulnerable user detection (VUD) sensors bring additional safety on the road to both pedestrians and drivers (Image: Honda/YouTube)

ADAS for all

Advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS) come in many shapes and forms, from adaptive cruise control to collision-avoidance system to lane change assistance and blind spot detection, to name only a few. Some have been around for some time – the GPS was introduced in the 1990s – while others are more recent. 

As is the case with many technological advances, in the beginning only premium models were equipped with some ADAS features; today the trend is for automakers to offer at least some form of built-in driving assistance on all cars in a range, for instance parking sensors, cruise control, driver drowsiness detection, automatic braking or intelligent speed detection. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) increasingly integrate common sensing technologies for ADAS: video, radar, light detection and ranging (LIDAR), ultrasonic and infrared (IR). 

A growing market

According to a report by market research company MArketsandMarkets, the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10,44% from 2016 to 2021, to reach a market size of USD 42,40 billion by 2021. 

James Hodgson, Research Analyst at ABI Research, explains that “vulnerable user detection (VUD) system shipments, including pedestrian, animal, and cyclist detection, will exhibit strong growth over the next decade, with a 49% CAGR.” 

A quest for safety

The drive behind the development of technological advances in the automotive sector is mainly to increase safety, to help drivers avoid accidents by enhancing their awareness, reaction time and improving the vehicle’s response in adverse situations. 

There is one common denominator shared by the vast majority of, if not all, advanced driver-assistance systems: sensors. Parking or speed sensors, gyroscopes or radar, camera, infrared, and ultrasonic sensors are only a few in a long list used by the automotive industry today. 

But whatever the size or type of the sensor, the device has to be accurate and reliable. Whatever it measures, the measurement has to be extremely precise. A defective sensor can have serious consequences, putting human lives in jeopardy. 

Relying on the electronic component supply chain

Sensor manufacturers and suppliers all over the world have a powerful tool at their disposal, enabling their products to meet the strictest requirements: IECQ testing and certification. IECQ is the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components. 

As the worldwide approval and certification system covering the supply of electronic components, assemblies and associated materials and processes, IECQ tests and certifies components using quality assessment specifications based on IEC International Standards.

In addition, there are a multitude of related materials and processes that are covered by the IECQ Schemes. IECQ certificates are used worldwide as a tool to monitor and control the manufacturing supply chain, thus helping to reduce costs and time to market, and eliminating the need for multiple re-assessments of suppliers. 

IECQ operates industry specific Certification Schemes: 

  • IECQ AP (Approved Process)
  •     IECQ AP-CAP (Counterfeit Avoidance Programme)
  • IECQ AC (Approved Component)
  •     IECQ AC-AQP (Automotive Qualification Programme)
  •     IECQ Scheme for LED Lighting
  •     IECQ AC-TC (Technology Certification)
  • IECQ Avionics
  • IECQ HSPM (Hazardous Substances Process Management)
  • IECQ ITL (Independent Testing Laboratory)

In summary, safety on the road increasingly depends on ADAS and always on the quality of the sensors used in ADAS. 

For more information: www.iecq.org