Tighter partnerships take sensor cleaning to new levels

Sensor cleaning specialists are now collaborating with OEMs, Tier 1s and AV developers to ensure systems work in all conditions. By Freddie Holmes

Many new vehicles today come fitted with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which rely on some form of perception sensor. This might be a camera or a radar mounted at the front of the vehicle. Some upcoming models will soon feature LiDAR units, similar to those used by advanced fully autonomous prototypes. Infrared cameras are also entering the mix. All of these sensors rely on clear and unobstructed views of the vehicle’s surrounding environment, but a build-up of grime or even light precipitation can cause problems today.

The industry is aware of the problem, and the implications not only for ADAS today but for fully autonomous systems tomorrow. Suppliers have explored different options to clear grime as the vehicle drives along. The challenge is that as more sensors are added, cleaning systems grow, taking up more space and requiring more power. And as vehicles experience different environments, new problems emerge. The challenge for the industry is to keep cost and complexity low, and to define a concrete answer to the question of “how clean is clean enough?”

Anything that impedes the view of a sensor could limit the performance of an autonomous vehicle

Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York City, one start-up aims to

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