IHS Technology envision that market for MCUs and processor units would touch half a billion dollars by 2020. Similarly, revenues from optical sensors would escalate 7 times by the same year.
Google has already rolled in its driverless car and by the end of 2014 we would be witnessing more such autonomous vehicles from robot manufacturers as well, as in robocars. As of now, these cars are not functioning as fully autonomous vehicles and they do require human intervention, especially to avoid unanticipated events. In fact, they are being operated under controlled external environments and limited operational conditions like low traffic, low speed and previously mapped routes.
Roadmap of Autonomous Cars
Nevertheless, as is expected, with the improvement technology, we may witness fully autonomous car maybe by the end of another decade or so. Advances are already been taken at quantum level be it nanotechnology, robotics, neuroscience or chip design to name a few. So in order to have a fully autonomous car, the brain of the machine need to work as per the new algos which of course would be required to run at a faster rate.
Not only it would require a faster computational capacity but storing massive data would also become imperative. Mass storage include info like traffic signals, start and stop signs for pedestrian safety, diversions and alike. This data would act as a template as per which the embedded sensors would pass on the environment’s signal and accordingly take decision while cruising along the road.
While rowing through traffic, the cars would require sensors that would deliver real time results regarding the speed, distance and direction of surrounding cars, tracking pedestrians, sudden brake in case of any kind of incident, and in here, couple of high-capacity RAM drives would be the game for these types of jobs. And it is expected to auto-wash off the data before it gets in the wrong hands of hackers and likewise.
This whole technology would revolve around microcontroller and processor units, which also means windfall profits for chipmakers.
Image: IEEE Spectrum