More than 150 little sensors are used in a single luxury car. That means a mess of wires, even if those sensors are talking to the car computer via a CAN bus. Those sensors need power. There’s more than a kilometer of cables for sending power to the sensors alone. Imagine what would happen without those wires: The car would be lighter. Cheaper to produce. And the sensors would go dead. Not if Toyota, Panasonic and 20 other Japanese companies get their way.
Those companies have joined forces to build electronic parts that generate power themselves. How? They convert small amounts of energy from vibrations, body heat and dim light into electricity. The companies want to debut the powerless parts within two to three years, says The Nikkei [sub]
The companies have joined forces under a consortium established by an NTT Data-affiliated lab. They believe one of the most promising potential applications for self-powered electronic parts is automobile sensors.