More sophisticated sensor cleaning systems will be essential for the future of AVs

Expect new efficient approaches to sensor cleaning as the software-defined vehicle gains pace. By Christopher Dyer

As more software-enabled vehicles come to market, the industry is seeing manufacturers increasingly move towards sensors to enhance the efficiency and longevity of their vehicles. They are also quickly becoming a staple for suppliers and Tier 1s looking to enhance the intelligence and data collection capabilities of their vehicles. A 2020 McKinsey study into sensor use in the automotive industry found that sensor adoption across all areas of vehicle development has tripled in the past decade.

Special report: Vehicle sensing and monitoring systems

Against this background sensor maintenance and autonomous cleaning capabilities become increasingly important. These are something that suppliers such as Continental, Kautex Textron and Valeo have examined with varying degrees of success. Valeo has seen an increase in uptake of its sensor cleaning equipment thanks in part to its system’s environmental credentials, using a mixture of autonomous wiping functions and limited water use to reduce the overall amount of liquid required by up to 36%. Continental has integrated the sensor and cleaning equipment into one module, making its solutions plug-and-play, with need only for connection to a power source and liquid reservoir.

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