Sensing and Actuation in Intelligent Vehicles

  • Angelos Amditis
  • Panagiotis Lytrivis
  • Evangelia Portouli


Nowadays, cars are equipped with more electronic systems than in the past. Today, vehicles are equipped with hundreds of miniature sensing systems, such as temperature, tire pressure, accelerometer, and speed sensors. Actuators are also installed as components of advanced systems for optimized braking and assisted steering, although the market for really intervening systems is not mature yet.

In this chapter, different sensing and actuation systems are highlighted. The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of these systems and do not go deep into detail about the different technologies behind such systems. The sensors are grouped into three different categories: general in-vehicle sensors, perception sensors, and virtual sensors. Most of the general in-vehicle sensors are already available in the automotive market in the majority of commercial cars. On the other hand, the market penetration rate of perception sensors, except for ultrasonic sensors, is very low mainly because of their cost. Finally, there are some information sources that are not actual sensors and play a significant role in automotive applications, such as the digital maps. Actuators are first distinguished and described according to their energy source into mechanical actuators, electrical actuators, pneumatic or hydraulic actuators, piezoelectric actuators, and thermal bimorphs. Next, the design of advanced intervening systems is presented, namely, the ABS, electronic stability control, autonomous cruise control, assisted steering. More advanced systems like the steer by wire and brake by wire are also presented, although they have not yet entered the market as products, with few exceptions. Finally, the vision of a fully automated vehicle is presented together with the considerations that still accompany it, and some first prototypes and research work toward this direction are highlighted.


Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor Solenoid Valve Ultrasonic Sensor Adaptive Cruise Control Radar Sensor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. ASTM (2003) Standard specification for telecommunications and information exchange between roadside and vehicle systems-5 GHz band dedicated short range communications (DSRC) medium access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) specifications, September 2003. ASTM, West Conshohocken, PAGoogle Scholar
  2. CAR 2 CAR communication consortium (2007) C2C-CC manifesto, version 1.1, August 2007.
  3. CAR 2 CAR Communication consortium (C2C-CC).
  4. Co-operative systems for road safety “Smart vehicles on smart roads,” SAFESPOT, FP6 integrated project.
  5. ETSI TR 102 638 v1.1.1, Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) (2009) Vehicular communications; Basic set of applications; Definitions, June 2009. ETSI, Sophia Antipolis, FranceGoogle Scholar
  6. European Committee for Standardization (CEN).
  7. European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
  8. European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
  9. IEEE Standards Association (2007) IEEE P1609.1 – Standard for wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE) – Resource manager, IEEE P1609.2 – Standard for wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE) – Security services for applications and management messages, IEEE P1609.3 – Standard for wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE) – Networking services, IEEE P1609.4 – Standard for wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE) – Multi-channel operations, adopted for trial-use in 2007, IEEE Operations Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJGoogle Scholar
  10. International Organization for Standardization (2007) Intelligent transport system-continuous air interface long and medium (CALM) – Medium service access point. Draft international standard ISO/DIS 21218, ISO, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  11. ISO TC204 WG16.
  12. Jakobsson E, Beutner A, Pettersson S et al (2009) HAVEit project deliverable 12.1 “Architecture,” February 2009.
  13. Low-cost miniature laserscanner for environment perception, MiniFaros, FP7 small or medium-scale focused research project (STREP).
  14. Lytrivis P, Thomaidis G, Amditis A (2009a) Sensor data fusion in automotive applications. In: Nada Milisavljevic Ir (ed) Sensor and data fusion. I-Tech Education and Publishing KG, Vienna, Austria, pp 133–150. ISBN: 978-3-902613-52-3Google Scholar
  15. Lytrivis P, Vafeiadis G, Bimpas M, Amditis A, Zott C (2009) Cooperative situation refinement for vehicular safety applications: the SAFESPOT approach. In: ITS World congress 2009, Sweden, 21–25 Sept 2009, Stockholm, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  16. Marek J et al (2003) Sensors for automotive applications. (Sensors Applications Vol 4). Wiley, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  17. Nilsson A, Nilsson P, Seglö F (2010) HAVEit project deliverable 23.1 “Brake-by-Wire for challenge 4.2,” January 2010.
  18. NIMA (2000) Department of Defence World Geodetic System 1984 – Its definition and relationships with local geodetic systems. Report TR8350.2, 3rd edn. National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Bethesda, MDGoogle Scholar
  19. Preventive and active safety applications, PReVENT, FP6 integrated project.
  20. Zott C, Yuen SY, Brown C, Bartels C, Papp Z, Netten B (2008) SAFESPOT local dynamic maps – context-dependent view generation of a platform’s state & environment. In: 15th World Congress on ITS 2008, New York, November 2008Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelos Amditis
    • 1
  • Panagiotis Lytrivis
    • 1
  • Evangelia Portouli
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS)ZografouGreece
  2. 2.National Technical University of AthensZografouGreece

Personalised recommendations