of them could have been avoided if the cars were
self-driving. Unfortunately, given the low number of
self-driving cars on the road, statistics are scarce, and
there’s been no real study on the possible avoidance of
autonomous and human factor accidents.
In reality we do not have a clear definition of
accountability in the case of accidents. For example,
accident fault and accountability could be placed on the
car manufacturer, self-driving subsystem, or infrastructure
that was feeding data to the self-driving car.
Insurance companies are still very wary, and there is a
lack of clear regulations.
Over the next decade, self-driving cars will become
a lot safer than normal cars, to the point that a few
countries will encourage and incentivize citizens to adopt
these vehicles. I see this need for a top down push for
autonomous vehicles to win the mass market.
Pricing is a factor, but broad adoption will drive prices
down, new technologies beyond expensive lidar will
become available, shared intelligence will increase safety
and decrease cost. Still, the real stumbling block, as I see
it, is overcoming the trust aspect.
Senior Technical Marketing Manager,
Macronix America, Inc.
Engineers developing systems for autonomous vehicles face myriad
challenges to ensure security in the latest vehicles.
Securing critical information required for their safe
operation is a key focus area for designers.
Automobiles’ electronics systems are quickly evolving
to a centralized compute architecture—an evolution not
unlike that of smartphone platforms. This new centralized
architecture also implements a highly complex, parallel-processing model typical of today’s artificial intelligence
applications. This helps facilitate vehicle-safety
technology, like advanced driver-assistance systems.
As with any emerging architecture, especially where
people’s lives are at stake, ensuring security presents an
important challenge. Macronix and other leaders in the
autonomous-vehicle ecosystem are developing technology,
notably in non-volatile memory, designed to tackle these
Because today’s on-chip embedded flash densities
are too limited for automotive systems, engineers favor
a combination of on-chip and discrete memory. The
link between a system’s host and storage needs to be
secure to thwart “man in the middle” attacks. That
storage must also be resistant to physical probing, handle
extreme temperature fluctuations and last the lifetime
of a vehicle.
Now that designers have at their disposal non-volatile-
memory solutions designed specifically for automotive
applications, such as Macronix’s AEC-Q100 qualified
NOR and NAND flash devices, the next challenge is to
determine how they’re utilized. Common uses include
system-configuration storage and securely storing
software, either in the factory or through remote over-
the-air updates. Another is storing cryptographic keys to
secure vital communication links, support authentication
(ensuring only authorized people gain access to select
parts of vehicles’ electronics), and enable permission-
based systems. And in case of an accident, non-volatile
memory can securely log events leading up to and during
the event, facilitating failure analysis.
The challenges continue to grow, but non-volatile
memory continues to evolve to meet those challenges.
Automotive Director, Taoglas
Autonomous driving is one of the four major future enabling automotive market
megatrends. By 2030, up to 15 to 20
percent of new cars sold could be fully autonomous. The
introduction of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)
will influence and help determine vehicle regulations,
systems standards and testing criteria, as well as
infrastructure requirements, affecting consumer acceptance
and mass market introductions of fully autonomous
vehicles. City and urban autonomous taxi services are
predicted to be available in the near term. We will see
changes in car ownership patterns, with specific car sharing
services supporting consumer solution specific needs
for commuting, shopping, vacation, and business needs
coming next. The trucking industry will also benefit from
autonomous driving. No longer limited by driver availability
and driver regulations, shipping and logistics operations
will be able to optimize fuel and electricity consumption,
reduced driver headcount, and 24/7 operations.
The recent technology breakthroughs have been
tremendous in sensor and antenna technology, driving
industry excitement. Reaching economies of scale of leading
edge technologies of dual-band receivers and antennas
that deliver both the throughput and precision needed
for autonomous driving, will also be needed to achieve
dramatically pushing the market acceptance forward.
Fully autonomous consumer vehicles will not happen
en-masse for several years. The technologies will be in
place much sooner, but the full alignment of regulations,
standards, and consumer acceptance, needs to mature
as well. By the middle of the next decade, with a new
generation of consumers requiring various modes of
transportation, we will begin to see the ramp up of
autonomous vehicles and growing consumer adoption
and acceptance. ECN