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Why capacitive sensors are more preferred than ever in modern smart cars

Why capacitive sensors are more preferred than ever in modern smart cars

There’s been a renowned shift in the automobile industry for years now with cutting-edge technology and intelligence. Cars now work intelligently such that humans can interact with them. Technological advancement is capacitive sensors, which have become an integral part of vehicle coupling.

It’s believed that by 2022, the capacitive sensor market will reach USD 31.79 billion, with 21.14 billion units being shipped each year at that point (according to analyst firm Markets & Markets). This article will consider capacitive sensors and why they’re mostly preferred in modern smart cars.

So, let’s define capacitor….

A capacitor is used in a wide range of applications across technology. An electrical device with high precision that stores any electrical impulse is called a capacitor. The device is made from two conductive materials (i.e., can allow the flow of electric current) with a dielectric material (i.e., a material resistive to the flow of electric current per time) separating the conductive material, this combination of conductive and non-conductive materials made its ability to retain and store energy.

Derived from the root word “sense,” a sensor is a technological device used to detect a change in impulse. It hereby finds a wide application in detecting a difference in light, touch, and several other parameters.

What is a capacitive sensor?

In a simple term, a capacitive sensor is a contact or non-contact device comprising a pair of close electrodes that can detect the presence or absence of any object despite any material (metallic or non-metallic).

Its application can be seen in consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, defense, etc. Capacitive sensors ensure fluid level measurement, with more precision, low set-up costs, customized back-to-back solutions, and installable calibration software. The device offers excellent design, flexibility, durability, and efficient appliance operation.

The use of capacitive sensors in automobiles

Today, modern cars are built with capacitive sensing features such as touch screen control of multimedia like the radio, navigation, and phone calls. Besides, capacitive sensors have been incorporated into door handles to distinguish the user’s hands and automatically open the vehicle to let them in. Unlike torque sensors, capacitive sensors can identify the driver’s hands when he touches the wheel. Though torque sensors can detect even the slightest deviations once the driver holds the wheel, it’s quite deceptive and can result in accidents.

In the parking system, capacitive sensors can tell when there are objects in the way of the reversing vehicle. This sends an alarm to the driver and prevents collision with pedestrians when parking.

Why capacitive sensors are more preferred than ever in modern smart cars

To improve efficiency, reduce carbon emission, and ensure safety and ease of operation, the automobile industry has adopted automation. In this case, mechanical components in an automobile are replaced by electrical components hence the need for sensors. This has led to electric car production. It has found application in the following areas.

  • Engine Sensors, e.g., inlet manifold, coolant, pressure camshaft position, EGR, temperature, air mass flow oxygen, valve position.
  • Crash avoidance, e.g., adaptive cruise control, radar parking sensors, lane departure warning, driver monitoring
  • Passenger comfort, e.g., air vent positions, seat position, window position, and HVAC.
  • Safety and security, e.g., theft prevention, occupant airbag systems, seat belt pre-tensioners, tire pressure monitoring, Occupant detection, pedestrian’s detection
  • Hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, e.g., pressure flow, motor speed, hydrogen leak detection, current monitoring, temperature, and position.
  • Passenger convenience, e.g., automatic headlamps, remote keyless entry, washer fluid level, automated rain wipers, and headlamp leveling.
  • Vehicle control, e.g., acceleration, steering torque, hydraulic pressure, wheel speed, ride height position, and position.

The capacitive sensors by design have shown high proficiency in an application for creating the above-stated designs, all of which require the basic principles of measuring and sensing parameters such as motion, touch, light, temperature, and several other mechanical properties.

From automobiles’ production to robotic and automated equipment, capacitive sensors have a wide range of applications.

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