Photonics Offers Superior Performance and Reliability for the Automotive Industry

The high performance capabilities of photonics technology meets the automotive industry's need for safety and entertainment solutions that offer superior performance, reliability, robustness, and cost effectiveness, reports Frost & Sullivan.

Photonics technology offers better performance as compared to semiconductor technologies for a number of applications, the consulting company adds.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Advances in Photonic Technologies for the Automotive Industry, finds that light emitting diode (LED) and liquid crystal display (LCD) technologies will contribute greatly to the lighting and display systems of future automobiles. The automotive industry will further focus on increasing the scope of optical sensors and head-up displays (HUDs) for safety applications. Additionally, multistream data transmission protocols for multimedia applications might become an integral part of next-generation infotainment and telematics solutions.

"Automobiles increasingly employ photonics for lighting, displays, sensors, and communications systems," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krishnakumar Srinivasan. "For a majority of these applications, photonic technologies have worked well in conjunction with the associated electronic counterparts," adds Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kasthuri Jagadeesan.

Photonic technologies will help to resolve a number of inadequacies exhibited by electronic technologies in specific application domains such as safety, multimedia, and infotainment systems. Its efficiency has prompted automobile manufacturers to develop more applications based on this technology.

Moreover, photonics technology possesses superior data rates, bandwidth, reliability, and robustness relative to electronic solutions. However, the achievement of integration and miniaturization in photonics remains a distinct challenge. Current electronic solutions will restrain the scope of photonic technologies if they can effectively satisfy end-user needs and adapt to meet future needs.

"Although optical sensors and communication protocols have demonstrated their performance capabilities, they still need to prove they can effectively complement their electronic counterparts," notes Srinivasan. "Academic research focusing on the development of photonic technologies for automotive applications will help resolve the issues associated with the emergence of photonic-dominant systems."

Photonic technology must address issues such as cost, interoperability, and high operating temperature. Overcoming these issues will extend its application scope in automobiles.

Increasing consumer safety awareness encourages the creation of several technologies and applications that will not only enhance safety, but also indirectly save time, cost, and fuel.

"The industry relies on optical sensors with advanced control electronics, to develop a wide range of safety technologies for occupant safety, intruder detection, lane departure warning, and blind spot detection," observes Jagadeesan. "Since all of these systems require displays, photonic technology will find considerable application in this sector."

Lighting systems in automobiles also utilize photonics technology. It aids the development of anti-glare lighting and night vision systems for safety in harsh driving situations such as darkness, fog, and exposure to blinding light, the company noted in a release.

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