The number of passenger vehicles on the world’s roads will reach an estimated 68 million light vehicles in 2008. Many vehicles will feature increasingly sophisticated safety and engine management systems as a result of the migration of sophisticated MST-based sensors from luxury into mid-range cars. The success of such sensors owes much to batch micromachining processes, which reduce component sizes and provide low power consumption devices that can be integrated with signal conditioning electronics into small packages that handle the harsh environments and deliver reliability extending over 10–15 years.
This paper examines existing and emerging markets for MST sensors deployed in airbags and vehicle dynamics, GPS navigation, and engine management. According to our estimates, the overall market for MST based automotive measurements will grow from around $1.3 billion in 2004 to nearly $2 billion in 2009. A particular emphasis of this article is the opportunity for inertial and pressure sensors.