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The Rodney Dangerfield of Automated-Driving Sensors

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AVEP07_06
Published July 01, 2019 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Radar and lidar get all the attention, but Inertial Measurement Units are the backbone of sensor fusion. Suppliers are scrambling to make IMUs more accurate-and much less expensive.

The emerging era of highly-automated driving comes courtesy of much-vaunted sensor technology-spinning lasers, penetrating radar, sonar blips. But the sensor that gets the least respect in the technology stack could be the lynchpin for the mass roll-out of self-driving vehicles: the inertial measurement unit (IMU).

“IMUs are the glue that binds everything together,” said Mike Horton, chief technology officer at Aceinna, a Boston-based company that develops sensing solutions for automotive applications. “An IMU can help bring different types of data together from GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), lidar and cameras to make everything consistent and smooth.”