Driverless Vehicle Makers, Carriers, Drone-Defense Creators Look to MEMS & Sensors Industry for Advanced Sensing and Actuation

SCOTTSDALE, AZ --- MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG)’s MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress gave innovative developers of driverless vehicles and drone-defense makers -- as well as one of the world’s top carriers -- a ready audience of industry execs as they shared their wants for new MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS)/sensors for future products.

Phillip M. Rayer II, general manager, Local Motors, described how his company uses “co-creation” -- involving as many as 50,000 developers -- to design driverless electric vehicles for target communities. Local Motors uses 3D printing to manufacture the vehicles in months rather than years.

“Today’s transportation system is characterized largely by privately owned, individually driven, gas-powered vehicles that sit unused 95 percent of the time, cost over $1 trillion annually and emit 1 gigaton of emissions each year,” Phillip M. Rayer II, general manager, Local Motors. “A more cost-effective, efficient, equitable and convenient system is possible -- one that delivers a variety of shared, electrified and autonomous mobility options when and where they are needed. We call this ‘mobility as a service’ -- and we have proven it through the first 3D-printed structural car and the first self-driving electric vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson. Through co-creation, we are now working on the first 3D-printed driverless car for highways.”

Cameron Coursey, vice president of product development for AT&T’s Internet of Things Solutions, told MEMS and sensors suppliers that they play a critical role in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”: the Internet of Things (IoT).

Dan Hyman, president, XCOM Wireless, and partner, Icarus Technologies, Inc. introduced attendees to the concept of “democratizing airspace to defend against drones.” Leveraging RF MEMS from XCOM Wireless, Icarus develops portable, affordable counter-drone products to stop drones used unwittingly by dangerous hobbyists as well as by willful enemies.

MEMS & Sensors Industry Group Executive Director Karen Lightman expanded upon themes from MEMS & Sensors Executive Congress,” In MEMS and sensors, there is a need for co-creation, standards, connectivity and audio technologies that enhance voice user interface as well as ultrasonics that redefine gesture control,” said Lightman. “There was a collective buzz around driverless mobility solutions and environmental sensing. Attendees also learned about future-term technologies such as perpetual energy sources for autonomous sensing devices and printed hybrid electronics. As we look to 2017 and beyond, MEMS and sensors suppliers will continue to advance the user experience with every imaginable electronic product and system.”

Tech Showcase Winner and Hall of Fame

MEMS & Sensors Technology Showcase is a forum through which five finalists competed for attendees’ votes and the title of “winner.” The 2016 Technology Showcase winner, i-BLADES’ mobile Smartcase, is a new modular accessory that dramatically accelerates time to market and reach for IoT technologies. It lets new technologies quickly reach mass-market mobile consumers through one integrated smartphone accessory -- a mobile phone case that forms a “hard-wired” smartphone connection, enabling add-on MEMS and IoT technologies.

MEMS & Sensors Industry Group also inducted three new members into the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group Hall of Fame: Ken Foust, platform manager, Intel Corporation; Dave Monk, vice president and general manager of motion sensors, NXP Semiconductor; and Jason Weigold, president, MEMStaff.

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