Updated: October 31st, 2019

Autonomous vehicles will need as many as 30 sensors, creating volumes of data. In-vehicle infotainment systems will further increase demand for high-speed networks.

Nissan autonomous car prototype (Norbert Aepli, Switzerland, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Self-driving cars are already on the roads. GM, Ford, Tesla Motors, Toyota, Volvo, Nissan, and other automakers are testing driverless cars and say they plan to release autonomous models within the next few years. Although the trial period is uncovering some serious issues that will need to be solved, the industry is expected to fine-tune autonomous vehicle technology, but not stop its momentum.

The race to enable autonomous driving is challenging suppliers throughout the electronics industry. A large number of sensors and very powerful controllers will be needed to make these vehicles safe and dependable, and most automotive planners foresee an expansion of infotainment options to satisfy passengers who don’t have to think about driving.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has established a five-level scale that defines the different levels of driving automation, from level 0, in which a human driver is fully in control, to level 5, in which an autonomous system is fully