Introduction to embedded computers

Embedded computers or single board computers are portable computing machines. Each embedded computer performs a single function. When many of these computers are grouped together, they become part of a much larger system that performs various tasks. As a result, single board computers are highly efficient machines since they improve the output quality of the larger device.

Today, it can be found in various small and large machines such as cameras, smartphones and even automobiles. Let us understand why embedded computers are relevant to the automotive industry.

Benefits of embedded computers to automobiles

Embedded computers assist in enhancing the safety levels an automobile provides to the driver and passengers. This has helped reduce the number of fatalities caused by road accidents every year around the world.

Now, companies like Tesla are pioneering advancements in technology to install sensors and other security devices with the help of embedded computers. Without that, it would not be possible. However, embedded computers are not only limited to cars. It also includes transit vehicles such as buses and trucks, etc.

Some of the key features provided in automobiles with embedded computers are:

  • GPS navigation system
  • Entertainment system
  • Child-lock system
  • Security cameras

Reasons behind the growing trend for embedded computers in automobiles

The surge in the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to a boom in technology and hence, embedded computers were developed to meet the market needs. There are various types of embedded computer systems that are certified for transportation such as industrial IoT gateways and edge computers. These are the reasons why embedded computers are so popular for automobiles today:

1. Increase in sales

More and more consumers are purchasing cars every year which has led to a surge in sales. As they are purchasing, they also have demands that the car companies need to meet in order to give them a good service and maintain a brand reputation.

The latest automobiles in the market are now equipped with these single board computers that contribute towards the growing trend. The most common embedded computers in automobiles provide the various services:

  • Cruise control
  • Automatic airbags
  • Emission systems
  • Parking systems
  • Traction control
  • GPS navigation
  • Climate control
  • Collision detection sensors
  • Anti-lock braking systems

The increase in focus for pedestrian as well as vehicular safety has led to a surge in embedded computer companies creating new business partnerships with automobile companies around the world. The markets are segmented into:

  • Security and safety
  • Electronics
  • Infotainment and telematics
  • Powertrain
  • Chassis control

2. More focus on passenger safety

The majority of the automobile companies around the world have taken into consideration the focus for driver, passenger and pedestrian safety. What’s more, it is now a law they need to comply with in order to be in business.

This has caused the industry to keep up with the latest technologies and integrate  embedded computers into automobiles. As a result, road fatalities have drastically reduced worldwide in recent years due to the increased use of these compact computers.

The embedded computers play a major role in integrating sensors and other technical systems into the vehicle that prevent accidents from happening. These sensors identify pedestrians, detect blind spots, warn of collisions, possible breakdowns, etc.

3. More demands for automation of services

Consumers also demand interconnectivity between vehicles and connected car devices. This is helpful to both companies in the automotive industry and road infra designers. All of this is possible thanks to industrial computers integrated with vehicles to reduce the number of accidents worldwide.

4. Wireless cameras

Embedded pcs are highly useful in public transport such as trains and buses as it enables security through surveillance systems. These systems are Wi-Fi enabled which feed data regularly to the embedded computer. In turn, the computer feeds this data to a central point in real-time where the user can monitor videos and images and save them for future reference. This way, if there are any unfavourable incidents, the perpetrators will be caught swiftly.

Conclusion

Embedded computer systems have revolutionised the way automobile companies create cars for their consumers. With more focus on safety and security for people on the road, the trend is here to stay.