A number of vehicles feature automotive safety systems and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) for safe operation.
Shipments of MEMS that are important for safe vehicle operation are increasing at a fast rate. The year 2010 saw the shipment of around 100 million tire pressure monitoring systems, airbags and electronic stability (ESP) safety systems with MEMS incorporated in them. The equipment comprised over 300 million MEMS chips. Analysts predict that around 150 million systems will be used in vehicles in 2016 and the total number of MEMS chips is estimated to reach over 830 million.
The practice director of ABI Research, Peter Cooney, stated that the advanced safety devices are more complicated and has more sensors than previously designed safety systems. MEMS can be classified into three major categories pressure sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes.
One technical approach is to integrate multiple sensors or different sensor types on a single chip. Another approach is to enable a single MEMS to perform double or triple duty while serving multiple safety systems.
One other factor that drives the automotive MEMS and safety systems market is receiving government permission. When governments make safety systems compulsory, MEMS suppliers will witness major benefits. There are very few MEMS suppliers for the automotive market. Startups will find it challenging to survive. However, suppliers who succeed will reap significant gains. The market for automotive MEMS Sensors is evaluated based on unit volumes, average selling prices, and revenues with forecasts up to 2016.