In a future where cars and trucks will rely increasingly on seeing in the dark, making drivers comfortable and sensing danger, there is a new hot commodity: sensors.
Lots of them.
The market for sensors is expected to explode in the coming decade, outpacing forecasts for global auto production and racing to keep up with the rollout of electronic components, such as night vision and hands-free steering systems.
Why? Because the new innovations in electronic gadgetry do not require one new sensor — they need several of them.
"If you start looking into the car where the sensors are hidden, it's amazing, really. The number of applications is going through the roof," said Frank Findeis, vice president for automotive sensors at German semiconductor maker Infineon, which along with Robert Bosch is one of the top two suppliers for the automotive semiconductors that are the "brain" of modern sensors.