March '21

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32 THE SHOP MARCH 2021 he use of automotive sensors goes back to the 1950s. But those were simpler times. The first sensors were low oil pressure sensors that completed simple circuits that would illuminate an idiot light on the dashboard. Meanwhile, basic charging system warning lights noti- fied drivers if the generator wasn't working efficiently. Today, modern vehicles include around 50-100 sensors, depending upon how broad your definition of sensor stretches. And their numbers will grow exponentially as we enter the era of the autonomous vehicle. If you thought trouble codes from MAP sensors or O2 sensors could be con- founding, wait until we fully arrive at the age of ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) and vehicles that pilot them- selves. While no one knows exactly when autonomous vehicles will be ready for the mainstream, the aftermarket needs to begin preparing to integrate our components into new vehicles now. Besides, ADAS components are already here, so why wait? It's time to ensure our aftermarket products and installation tech- niques will work harmoniously with the growing number of OEM sensors—espe- cially those that keep drivers safe. MAKING LEVEL 5 AUTONOMY MANAGEABLE When you break down the autonomous vehicle, there are four major sensor groups that can be used: radar, lidar, HD cameras and thermal imaging. One or more of these technologies must be implemented for a vehicle to have the ability to drive itself (known as Level 5 automation). Most likely, however, the safest self-driving vehicles will use a com- bination of all these technologies. Leading the charge on the radar front is Lunewave radar. CEO and co-founder John Xin has a business background with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and 15 years of experience in the insurance industry. Xin founded Lunewave with his brother, Hao, the company's CTO, who was a professor at the University of Arizona. BMW was Lunewave's first strategic investor, providing the financial backing of a large OEM to create cutting-edge products. The company is developing a radar sensor with a lens about the size of a ping-pong ball with a 180-degree viewing angle. A typical radar can only see around 60 to 100 degrees. Even more important is the resolution. The Lunewave radar can see the differences Seeing the Future MORE ON THESHOPMAG.COM Indy autonomous racer unveiled: Lunewave is developing a radar sensor with a lens about the size of a ping- pong ball with a 180-degree view- ing angle. How sensors are driving the ADAS market. By Brett Solomon

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