As the sector general manager of TI’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) team, I’ve seen an incredible evolution in the role this technology plays in delivering an all-around safer, more comfortable and more informed driving experience.
At TI, our family of System on–Chip (SoC) ADAS products and the complete ecosystem of analog components we offer around it provide scalable and open solutions, common hardware and software architecture for a variety of applications including camera-based (front camera, rear and surround view systems, mirror replacement, driver monitoring) applications, as well as radar-based (blind spot warning and collision avoidance) and sensor fusion systems.
Yet despite the array of systems we offer, one thing hasn’t changed – the driver. No matter how many new ADAS solutions we develop, human drivers are the one variable that can be hard to quantify.
That’s about to change in a big way, however. Ready or not, autonomous vehicles, fueled by an array of advanced sensor technologies and digital processing power are already in various stages of development.
According to research firm IHS Automotive, there will be 76 million various levels of autonomous vehicles on the road globally by 2035. The implications of having this many autonomous vehicles on the road will redefine the daily commute, and rewrite expectations of our customers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Making autonomy work
An array of new technology and solutions are the base to deliver a successful autonomous vehicle experience. The unprecedented levels of automation will require more sensors in order to perceive a complex driving environment. In turn, this will create far greater data volumes to be processed and distributed across networks in real-time, with the utmost reliability.
All of this will have to function seamlessly, under extreme environmental conditions. It’s clear to me that future of ADAS designs will need some key features to be successful.
First, size, efficiency and performance will continue to rule the day, just as they do now. Smaller, more efficient, yet powerful ADAS applications will only become more critical as autonomy drives up requirements for far greater amounts of data capture. Processing all of this data to make the correct decisions in real time is another hurdle, as is the effort to get the data from the sensors to the processor. And of course, the solution has to make financial sense in order to be commercially viable in everything from luxury to entry-level vehicles.
Rethinking the role of ADAS
Perhaps one way to address these challenges is to start thinking about ADAS as more than the sum of its parts. Right now, ADAS subsystems often work independently of each other. For example, adaptive cruise control doesn’t necessarily know what blind spot detection is doing.
What’s needed is a more holistic ADAS approach where all sensors across the automobile are part of a more connected collective, making smarter and more reliable decisions. At TI, we are creating an ecosystem of products and solutions that are purpose built to support fast-changing needs of the automotive market today, and for future generations. We’re also working closely with our customers to help lead the way in the inevitable evolution toward the day when autonomous vehicles are the norm, not the exception.
Clearly, ADAS is an exciting market space that is always changing. From comfort and safety, to fuel efficiency and connectivity, however, I think we’re at a particularly interesting time in the automotive world. Nothing less than the entire concept of individual transportation is changing, and I’m happy to be a part of this exciting transformation.