Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Image source Freepik
It is impossible to deny the impact of electronics in the world of automotive. Modern automobiles are heavily characterized by a wide array of electronics. There are numerous electronic systems that run different applications in automobiles.
At the center of these electronic applications in the automotive industry are transistors. These are tiny semiconductor electronic components that are used for different functions, including amplification, voltage regulation, and switching among others. These functions are put into proper use on different components of vehicles. Keep reading as we discuss how transistors have impacted the automotive industry.
Electronic engine management
Advancement of the engine management is a common feature in the modern automobiles. All the features and performance of a vehicle’s engine are managed by electronic devices. Engine Control Unit (ECU) is an electronic device that is designed for this job. It is also known as the engine control module (ECM) and its work is to control and monitor multiple components of a vehicle’s engine such as ignition and fuel injection.
The ECU is able to execute its functions because it has sensors such as camshaft position sensors, knock sensors, coolant temperature sensors, and accelerator sensors among others.
All these sensors and other electronic devices that make up the ECU are embedded with transistors. For example, transistors are required to amplify signals that make up different parameters of a vehicle’s performance.
The ability to control and regulate the flow of electric current is another critical function of the transistor as an electronic component in a vehicle’s ECU.
Transistors have enhanced safety in the automotive industry
Modern automobiles are always considered safer than the older-generation cars. Technically, most if not all of these safety features are electronically managed and controlled. At the center of these electronic systems are the transistors. They control the critical operations of the safety systems.
Most safety features have sensors that collect real-time data about situations on the road. Transistors are among the vital components that make up sensors. Data collected by sensors are in the form of electric current or signals hence the need for transistors. They amplify collect and even process these signals.
What are some of these safety features? The most common one is the anti-lock braking system (ABS). It regulates the brake pressure whenever the vehicle is on a slippery surface hence preventing skidding. The airbag module comprises of transistors which control the deployment of airbags in case of collisions. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is another safety parameter that enhances the stability of vehicles on the road/. It also improves traction when approaching corners and sharp bends.
In general, transistors have enhanced various safety aspects of the automobiles. By doing so, lives have been saved, and losses minimized.
Improved comfort levels in vehicles
Modern automobiles are characterized by high levels of comfort. In fact, it is one of the key selling points of a vehicle. Most of these features are managed and run by the electronic systems.
At the very basic level is a car infotainment system. This is a combination of the information and entertainment system in a vehicle. The system provides various services that improve the comfort levels of vehicles. One such service is the audio system. You can play your music or listen to the radio through a car’s audio system. Transistors are integral components in all the audio devices in the vehicles. They are used for processing and amplifying audio signals for clear output.
Visual signals are also part of the infotainment system. Electronic components such as transistors are used for the processing of visual signals such as those used in the video systems in vehicles. A reverse camera is just one of the applications that utilize a car’s visual system.
Image of a car infotainment system source Freepik
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
Transistors have improved the driving experience in the automotive industry. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is one of the products of the transistors. They are a cluster of electronic applications that help drivers to perform various functions when driving.
ADAS technologies are embedded with cameras, sensors, and other electronic devices that monitor the surroundings and relay the information to the ECU and display unit. They also play a role in enhancing the automobile safety by regulating the speed of the vehicle. Some ADAS systems are designed to monitor a driver’s state and will issue warning in case they detect signs of tiredness.
We have active ADAS that are fully involved in the controlling of vehicles. Self-driving vehicles are a perfect example of such systems.
Basic electronic control systems in automobile
The impact of transistors is not only felt in the complex automobile systems. There are basic and essential systems that fully depend on the electricity. Car lighting is one of the control applications. Transistors work as switches whereby they determine when the lights should turn On and Off. Indicator lights and brake lights are also controlled by transistors.
Car central control system is another impact of transistors in the automotive industry. This system allows you to automatically lock and unlock a vehicle by pressing a button. Signal processing and relaying between the button and the locking system is executed by transistors.
In most cars, you can control the windows by pressing a button, This is an electronic application that depends on the transistors.
Are you building a product that will be used in an automotive application? Getting the best transistor should be your top priority. The first thing that you need to look out for is the type of transistor that will be suitable for your automotive application. After deciding on the type, you can focus on the specifications of the transistors. They determine the performance, reliability, and suitability of the transistors.
It will also be wise to pay attention to the quality of the transistor. Even with the right type and specifications, a transistor can still fail to deliver, especially when you consider the sensitive nature of automobiles. Buying from reputable transistor suppliers is the surest way of ensuring that you get premium-quality transistors for automobiles.
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