Case Study: Capacitive Tactile Sensors In Automotive

Using PPS’ patented, game changing tactile sensor technology called Capacitive Force Switch, automotive product designers can now add the force dimension to capacitive control buttons, and provide the reliability and durability of mechanical switches coupled with the sleek design, simple appearance, low cost, and more sophisticated operation of capacitive switches. 

Capacitive proximity switches are widely used in automobile control applications in place of mechanical switches due to their low cost and modern, sleek design. But unlike mechanical switches, capacitive switches can be activated unintentionally by drivers whose fingers brush too close to them, particularly on bumpy roads, during acceleration or turns.  The result ranges from annoying radio station changes and unintentional volume changes to turning on the defogger fans accidentally.

Furthermore, because capacitive sensors measure electrical properties, moisture from rain, melting snow or spilled beverages render the switches useless, as do items that cover a fingertip such as gloves or bandages. 


  • Relies on mechanical pressure to eliminate accidental activation.

  • Is impervious to moisture and other environmental factors.

  • Has the look and cost characteristics of traditional capacitive switches.

  • Utilizes finger pressure to improve user interface & make certain operations more precise.

  • Provides many UI enhancements from using proportional force to accelerate or decelerate scrolling when choosing a song or contact person to controlling a window or adjust pressure sensitive thresholds via software control.


It will be our pleasure to partner with it to embed our tactile sensor technology into your products through development and licensing/manufacturing services.


  • We will integrate our sensor solutions into your prototypes.

  • We will also consult on sensor design, integration, and testing.

  • Manufacture and supply logistics of prototypes per customer requirements.


  • PPS can either license its OEM solutions directly to you.

  • Or we utilize our strategic manufacturing partners to produce our sensors.

PPS has significant experience working with some of the largest automotive suppliers and manufacturers in the world to design high-quality instrumentation products for a wide variety of applications.  These products need to be both highly accurate and precise to provide the feedback and measurement designers require, and must be able to withstand the rigors of testing in both the laboratory and in the field.  PPS worked closely with automotive customers to design these products and each has been successfully deployed and tested in real-world environments.  PPS’s proprietary capacitive sensing technology and full featured visualization and analysis software have provided high-quality results in a wide variety of settings and applications.  Automotive customers have used these solutions in many other ways, so if you don’t see your specific application described here please contact us so that we can use our expertise in automotive solutions to design a test and measurement system to meet your needs.