Application of MEMS in Cars

Introduction on application areas for micro electro mechanical system (MEMS)

· The micro electro mechanical system (MEMS) is a micro mechanical device connected with electrical system through a mix of intergraded circuit and micro machining process. This material is shaped where by micro layers are etched away.

· MEMS system is comprised of mechanical elements, electrical and electronic devices, sensors and actuators on a single silicon substrate which is the most popular material due to its physical and commercial properties and importantly its semi conductivity. Its operation is based on the theory of an IC device

· MEMS sensors have been used in the vehicle industry to improve performance, reduce cost and importantly in car safety

· MEMS technology used in car safety- in case of a roll over

· Safety in vehicles is essential to avoid fatalities and loss of vehicles, in safety, there is the instalment of side and frontal air bags with most cars today having a roll over detection because of the high tendency for trucks, pick-ups and trucks to roll over

How the roll over sensor operates

· They employ a roll sensor to read the rates of roll and also the roll angles of the vehicle. The instalment of an accelerometer to read the vertical accelerations that may occur at banked curves, also a lateral acceleration detector is important for a vehicle striking a curb while sliding sideways

· Sensors used may not require the same resolution but must have an excellent rejection to shocks and vibrations while having a large dynamic range i.e. the ADXRS

· IMEMS gyroscope mostly recommended for its resistance to external shock and vibrations. A roll over may happen over a short period of time thus the need for a severe performance accelerometer which can be achieved by using a stable accelerometer

In case of theft

· Automakers are including anti-theft systems where they incorporate a dual axis accelerometer used to detect inclinations if the car is in motion or being towed. However, temperature stability is essential to ensure temperature changes do not result to false alarms

· Safety during parking sensors ensure that the car does not slip on an incline by automatically actuating parking brakes through the electronic brake system. It also prevents the vehicle from rolling back on a hill when the gas and brake pedals are not being pressed.

· The system operates by measuring the inclination of the car and determining the required breaking force the applying it

Advantages of MEMS technology

· Have low power consumption rates

· They are cheap to install and maintain

· Small in mass, size and volume making it easier to install and integrate in the system

· They have small thermal constant reducing complexities associated with electric installations

· They are high resistant to vibrations, radiation and shocks


· MEMS technology can be considered as a breakthrough in the automotive industry. This is due to the various advancements it has contributed to with the most important one being ones safety and also for your vehicle. Remember to book for your dsa practical test before driving to ensure you are conversant with the rules and staying safe while driving

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