Can You Trust Your Car?

As cars become computers on wheels, they had better become more reliable than our desktop models

11 min read

Carmakers are spending more on silicon these days, as electronics and software spread throughout motor vehicles, from underhood control units to driver information systems and rear-seat entertainment modules. It is now estimated that the cost of the electronics in a new car rises by 9-16 percent each year. In the 2001 model year, electronics accounted for 19 percent of a mid-sized vehicle's cost. In the year 2005, it may be 25 percent for mid-sized cars and possibly 50 percent for luxury models.

So in addition to being pervasive, automotive electronics had better be reliable. The failure of a 10-cent part can ruin a US $30 000 car purchase. Failures in braking and steering can cause injury or death. Servicing a system buried deep within a car is costly. And designers of automotive systems must be prepared for users who give the product almost zero maintenance. "It's not like aviation or aerospace, where you have human eyes looking at it after every few hours of operation," said Patrick Lincoln, director of the Computer Science Laboratory at SRI International (Menlo Park, Calif.). Now, in fact, the shoe is on the other foot, with aircraft makers eyeing mass-produced automotive databuses and other advanced technologies for possible avionics use.

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Video Friday: Drone in a Cage

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
A drone inside of a protective geometric cage flies through a dark rain

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

ICRA 2022: 23 May–27 May 2022, PHILADELPHIA
IEEE ARSO 2022: 28 May–30 May 2022, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
RSS 2022: 21 June–1 July 2022, NEW YORK CITY
ERF 2022: 28 June–30 June 2022, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
RoboCup 2022: 11 July–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20 August–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12 September–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Remembering 1982 IEEE President Robert Larson

He was a supporter of several IEEE programs including Smart Village

3 min read
A photo of two men in suits.  One behind the other.

Robert Larson [left] with IEEE Life Fellow Eric Herz, who served as IEEE general manager and executive director.

IEEE History Center

Robert E. Larson, 1982 IEEE president, died on 10 March at the age of 83.

An active volunteer who held many high-level positions throughout the organization, Larson was the 1975–1976 president of the IEEE Control Systems Society and also served as IEEE Foundation president.

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Bridge the Gaps in Your ADAS Test Strategy

Full-scene emulation in the lab is key to developing robust radar sensors and algorithms needed to realize ADAS capabilities

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

Achieving the next level in vehicle autonomy demands robust algorithms trained to interpret radar reflections from automotive radar sensors. Overcome the gaps between software simulation and roadway testing to train the ADAS / AV algorithms with real-world conditions. Sharpen your ADAS' radar vision with full-scene emulation that allows you to lab test complex real-world scenario, while emulating up to 512 objects at distances as close as 1.5 meters.

Get this free whitepaper now!