Fault Tolerant Solutions Needed

by : Joe Thompson

The automobiles of today are light years away from their forefathers especially when it comes to technological features. Power windows are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the amount of electronically controlled features found on today's cars. The increasing use of electronically based features is the current trend in the auto industry and it looks like the trend will be continuing for a long time in the future. Experts in the field though expressed their concerns that with the increasing use of electronics on board vehicles - the development of fault-tolerant electronic components should be given utmost importance.

Since electronic controls are being used not only on the comfort and convenience features of vehicles but also in safety features, it is imperative that they should not be prone to malfunctions. While experts in the field say that the development of these fault-tolerant components is just in its early stage, a steady growth in the future in the field is expected. Aside from safety features, electronic components are also used on security features and powertrain operations. Thus, the use of fault-tolerant components is of utmost importance. Breakdown of electronic components employed in safety, security, and drivetrain can lead to accidents.

It is therefore imperative that car manufacturers help in the development of these technologies to be employed by their vehicles. For those car companies that place greater importance on the safety of their customers more than revenues, the use of advanced fault-tolerant components is a must.

The importance of fault-tolerant components and the impact of their importance to the industry are emphasized by Research Analyst Bonnie Varghese K. of Frost & Sullivan when they were noted to have said: "The increasing deployment of electronic content in automobiles will drive demand for fault-tolerant solutions in telematics, as well as in vehicle safety and security. Fault-tolerant devices are being widely adopted in areas where there is a higher risk of human error, such as in collision avoidance and driver assistance applications."

Developing more advanced fault-tolerant devices though is not as easy as reading because there is a threat that would halt the growth of the fault-tolerant component market. Varghese explained the situation of the industry in his statement that: "Critical applications in automobiles such as anti-lock braking system and powertrain are becoming increasingly fault tolerant, which means they must undergo several tests and quality certifications before being implemented. As a result, it will take longer before investments in designing and developing products can be realized, a trend that will discourage the potential entry of smaller participants."

Nevertheless, the developments being made in the fault tolerant components industry is a good step towards protecting the general motoring public from any malfunctions that electronic vehicle components may suffer.