InnovationLab, experts in printed electronics from lab to fab, says innovative sensors save costs, improve safety and boost battery life in vehicles. The innovation comes from printed sensors.
Printed sensors provide a lightweight, flexible and cost-effective solution for many automotive applications. Since the sensors are ultra-thin, they can be used where other components would not fit. Available sensors include touch, pressure, temperature and humidity. The company also has printed flat heating and lighting elements.
Applications in today’s vehicles for printed electronics including smart baby seats, heated seats, battery health monitoring, and human machine interfaces (HMI). According to Luat Nguyen, Managing Director at InnovationLab, “For car makers and Tier 1s looking to reduce costs, add features and differentiate their designs, printed electronics can provide the new approach they’re looking for.”
By measuring pressure changes of the battery cells during charge and discharge in electric vehicles (EVs), printed pressure sensors can help improve battery capacity and lifetime (by up to 40%). Printed temperature sensors on each battery cell can also detect problems and prevent overheating, or provide the ability to automatically react to changing environmental conditions.
In seats, printed pressure sensors can improve automotive safety and meet government mandates for airbag systems by measuring the pressure distribution on the seat and thus determining if a person is present. The indication of an occupant, instead of a bag of groceries, can be used to automatically activate or deactivate an airbag, as well as sound an alert if a child has been left alone in the car seat.
To visualize and process data from the company’s pressure sensor matrices, it developed SensorMatrixLAB software. The software supports:
- Advanced data visualization
- High speed data recording and replaying
- API sensor data access
- Communication Interfaces: USB Serial, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
- Support of customized printed sensor matrices
- Advanced hardware configuration
- Configuration of readout electronics, including standalone operation via CAN
- Full proprietary protocol support