Customer demand for improved comfort, safety, convenience, reliability, fuel efficiency, infotainment and fun; and European legislation specifying stringent automotive emission targets are creating strong drivers for OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) to increase the embedment of electronics in every aspect of the car. Position sensors are devices that convert linear or rotary motion into an electrical signal. They are applied to provide feedback on the motion of systems including velocity, acceleration, direction and position. Position sensors represent a key sensor that is used throughout the car to control: pedal position, crank position, steering wheel position, automotive gear selection, engine and vehicle stability management, and many other functionalities that involve movement. As cars become more intelligent, new applications for position sensors are being found delivering ever more complex features and functionalities (fuel level monitors, advanced engine management, dynamic headlight control). Furthermore as sensors involved in the management of the engine, position sensors represent a key technology in helping OEMs to meet legislative emission targets.
As the embedment of intelligence becomes common place, consumers increasingly expect these features as standard and at no extra cost. Such expectations create significant economic pressures across OEM supply chains. Furthermore, responding to consumer demand for enhanced reliability (and to gain differentiation), OEMs seek to offer consumers ever increasing warranty periods, with an objective of 7 years warranty. Such warranty period necessitate sensor systems with unprecedented levels of durability. To meet these drivers OEMs demand position sensors with:
- Improved performance: enhanced monitoring and control of the vehicle
- Lower sensor cost: greater use throughout the vehicle at minimal cost.
- Increased durability, reliability and sensor lifetime: to enable reliable use over extended periods whilst maintaining accuracy.