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Top 10 Suppliers of Car MEMS Sensors

Bosch is No. 1 with about 30 percent of the market

1 min read
Top 10 Suppliers of Car MEMS Sensors
Bosch's yaw rate sensor.
Photo: Bosch

Automobile manufacturing supplier Bosch, based in Stuttgart, Germany, has a growing lead over competitors in the microelectromechanical system (MEMS) sensors market. That part of its business generated $740 million in 2013, about 30 percent of the estimated $2.47 billion value of the sector, reported IHS Technology last week. That is up 13 percent from the firm's 2012 MEMS revenue.

As in the smartphone sector, MEMS are growing more common in cars. Manufacturers use them to measure accelerations, pressure in diesel cylinders, and humidity in the engine, among other things. The automotive MEMS sensors market will grow by more than 8 percent a year through 2022, MarketsandMarkets predicted last month.

MEMS will feed information into the ever-more data-hungry processors that will first assist and then replace human drivers. Bosch, which is also integrating the data streams of larger sensors (see "How Self-Driving Cars Will Sneak Onto Our Roads"), is in a good position to help carmakers make that transition.

The next-biggest competitor, Denso, earned less than a third of Bosch's revenue last year, and suffered a 21.3 percent drop from 2012 levels. IHS attributes some of the decline to currency fluctuations, since much of Denso's earnings are in Japan, where the yen fell against other the US dollar last year.

See the other top 10 suppliers below.

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Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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