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The Automotive Technology Glossary

An A to Z of key terms associated with automotive technology.

Got a term to add? Email freya.smale@informa.com

A - L


The fourth generation of broadband cellular network technology, which succeeded 3G.

Learn more about 4G

The fifth generation of broadband cellular network technology, predicted to succeed 4G.

Check out the 5G World Series

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems are electronic systems designed to assist the driver either while driving or parking. These examples of HMI systems increase road safety significantly.

Attend ADAS & Autonomous Vehicles 2020

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. Specific applications of AI in Automotive include: applications in autonomous vehicles, driver and passenger personalization, or virtual testing and sitmulation.

Autonomous Vehicle (AV)

Also known as a self-driving vehicle, an AV or driverless car. An Autonomous Vehicle can drive itself without human interaction.

Read TU-Auto's AV Articles

Biometics refers to the application of statistical analysis to biological data. In vehicles, biometrics is a way of blending biology and technology, for example through the use of fingerprint scanners to open your car.


"A system in which a record of transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network." 

Blockchain is predicted significant impact in Automotive over the coming years, as it offers a more integrated and more secure network for on-demand services.

Read Deloitte's report for more information
Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X)

"Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) serves as a foundational technology for vehicles to communicate with each other and virtually everything around them. It helps provide 360º non-line-of-sight awareness and a higher level of predictability for improved road safety and a path towards autonomous driving."

Read the full Qualcomm definition

Cloud is essentially describes a global network of servers, each with a unique function. As the cloud is not a physical entity, but instead is a vast network of remote servers meant to operate as a single ecosystem, this technology enables on-demand delivery of database, applications, storage and more.

Connected Fleets

Connected Fleets are commercial and passenger fleets utilizing connectivity, telematics and software to collect data from vehicles that will enable fleet optimization,  enhanced efficiency and reduced overheads.

Attend Connected Fleets 2020
Connected Cars

The Connected Car is a car with its own connection to the internet, usually via a wireless local area network (WLAN). This allows the vehicle to share internet access and data with other devices inside and outside the car, enabling the car owner to move seamlessly across their personal devices.


As the Connected Car becomes a reality, Cyber Security is becoming a huge topic of conversation. This function refers to the technologies, processes, and practices required to protect our networks, thus securing our devices and data from attack.


Operations performed by a computer that can be stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media.

Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC)

DSRC dates to the 1990s. It was originally designed to enable cars to communicate with each other. DSRC utilises one-way or two-way short-range to medium-range wireless communication channels.


The action or process of charging something with electricity, in automotive, the creation of Electric Vehicles.

Check our the Wards Intelligence Reports in Electrification

Name given to the digitization of banking and financial services. It refers to the application of new technology, such as computer programs to support or enable banking and financial services.


Global Navigation Satellite System and refers to a satellite navigation system that provide autonomous geo-spatial positioning with global coverage.

HD Mapping

A High Definition Map is used by autonomous vehicles and were designed to ensure the growing needs of self-driving applications.


Human Machine Interface: software application that presents information to an operator or user about the state of a process, and to accept and implement the operators control instructions.


In-vehicle broadcasts intended to entertain and inform.


Internet of Things refers to the ever-growing network of objects with internet connectivity capability, and the growing need for communication between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.

Check out Industrial IoT World

Jounce is the opposite of rebound and refers to the motion of a wheel that compresses against its suspension. It occurs at the upper limits of its travel.

Kinetic Energy

The energy created by a body by virtue of being in motion.


Low-Emission Vehicles are vehicles create to use low carbon technologies.


Lidar = Light Detection and Ranging.



Join the biggest companies for the TU-Automotive Awards party on June 2, 2020! The shortlist will be announced in March. The winners will be announced during the TU-Automotive Awards party.


While TU-Automotive Detroit 2019 saw the main topics of mobility, connectivity, cybersecurity and autonomous technologies discussed in depth, the main takeaway this year is a tangible shift towards the near and medium-term realities for businesses involved in these four distinct areas. This ebook will review key topics and themes discussed at TU-Automotive Detroit.



Stand for Mobility as a Service and refers to the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.

Read the full definition from the MaaS Alliance

"An operation that associates each element of a given set (the domain) with one or more elements of a second set (the range)."

Find out more here

Refers to the movement of people or goods.

Navigation System

A device in your vehicle that communicates with global positioning satellites to determine your physical location and can be used to plot a course to a desired destination using stored map information.


Original Equipment Manufacturer (Automaker) is an organization that makes devices from component parts bought from Tier 1s and other suppliers.


Over-the-Air refers to the various methods of distributing new software, settings, or update over the air.

Pay-Per-Use Ecomony

A Pay-Per-Use economy refers to metered products or services for which customers are charged each time they use the service.

QNX Software Systems

QNX is a type of mobile operating system that was originally developed for embedded systems.


Refers to resources of energy that can not depleted by use, such as water, wind, or solar power.

Seamless Technology

The Future is Seamless! Seamless technology is an innovative concept that aims to enable consumers to move between devices without interuption in service or consumption.

Find out more about the Seamless Future at CTS 2021
Self Driving Car

Also called an autonomous car or driverless car uses a combination of sensors, cameras, radar and artificial intelligence (AI) to travel between destinations without a human operator.

Shared Mobility

Shared mobility refers to the shared used of a vehicle, be it a bicycle or a car. This umbrella term encompasses a variety of popular forms of transportation including carsharing, bikesharing, peer-to-peer ridesharing, on-demand ride services, microtransit, and other modes.

Start Up

A new (often disruptive) business.

Subscription Economy

The business of offering subscriptions to consumers, a popular form of business since the rise of companies such as Netflix.


A method of monitoring an asset through the use of GPS and other onboard diagnostic technology that record actions.

What is Telematics?
Telematics Service Providers (TSPs)

Telematics Service Providers (TSPs) offer services via telematics systems aimed at improving the driving experience, reducing cost and increasing passenger safety.

Tier 1s

A tier 1 company is the most important member of the automotive supply chain, supplying directly to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that set up the chain.


Usage-based insurance is a type of vehicle insurance whereby the costs are dependent on a set of variables that can have different impact on certain types of vehicle, such as time, distance, driver behavior and place.


Ultra low emission vehicles use low carbon technologies, emitting less than 75g of CO2/km from the tailpipe.

User Experience

The experience of a person using a product or service.


Vehicle-to-Everything refers to technology that allows vehicles to communicate with other components of a traffic system around them.


Voice technology (think Alexa, Siri, Cortana) is changing how consumer interact with their devices and in particular with search. Keep an eye on voice technology coming to your car soon!

Wireless Carriers

Wireless carrier or wireless network operators manage terrestrial, CDMA-based wireless telecommunications networks for data and other services.


Yaw = measurement of a vehicle's rotation around its central axis.

Zero Emission Vehicles

Also known as ZEVs, these are vehicles that emit no exhaust gas from the on-board source of power, thus eliminating the release of harmful pollutants into the environment such as hydrocarbons or carbon monoxide.



Caroline Hicks
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E: caroline.hicks@informa.com


Sanjay Singh
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Freya Smale
T: +44(0) 207 017 5185
E: freya.c.smale@informa.com