In the world of disruptive technologies, microelectricalmechanical systems or Mems for short, don't get a lot of headlines. Media attention often falls on the amazing potential AI or IoT linked devices creating smart environments.
However MEMS have been used in cars for many years, and are responsible for some of the automatic systems which many drivers now take for granted.
What Are MEMS?
They are very small mechanical devices. Born out of the integrated circuitry industry used in computers, they use many of the same development techniques.
Some of the most common applications of these devices are as pressure sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes.
As technology advances their size and cost continue to reduce. They are now moving into the nano technology range and a new breed of nanoelectricalmechanical systems or NEMS are being created.
Typical Uses In Automobiles
MEMS are applied in multiple ways in vehicles. It is estimated that an average car uses over 50 MEMS technology devices.
Some typical applications include: reducing emissions to help the environment, airbag sensor technology to improve safety and improving a vehicles performance.
Examples of Automobile MEMS
- Mass airflow pressure sensor
- Accelerometer for suspension control
- Brake pressure sensor and control
- Tire pressure sensors
- Corrosion sensor
- Exhaust gas sensor
- Microphones for noise cancellation
- Accelerometer for airbag deployment
- GPS and inertial navigation system
- Fuel injector pressure sensor
- Silicon nozzles for fuel injection
- Air conditioning pressure sensor
MEMS are also combined with IoT (Internet of Things) technologies to provide even smarter cars. For instance, the internet connectivity characteristic of IoT vehicles allows car companies to release software updates in real time. Thus keeping the vehicle up-to-date with the latest benefits of the technology they are using.
Some other applications of the smarter 'intelligent' car include:
- Connected car systems monitoring
- Cloud based infotainment solutionsReal-time fleet management
- Optimised logistics
- Smart driving assistance
- Automated emergency management
- Driver safety systems
- Predictive maintenance
As we can see auto technology has a huge dependency on these miniature devices, which help to give divers a safer and more enjoyable driving experience.
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