The Race To Zero X

The race is on to get to Zero X, says Freescale’s Jean-Christophe Bodet.

Zero X is Bodet’s term for a series of zero metrics in health, road safety, dropped communications links, automobile emissions and manufacturing quality which current technologies can already deliver but need cost reduction and efficient deployment.

On the roads, the 1.3 million deaths and up to 50 million injuries every year – 90% of them in developing markets – could be reduced to zero by wider deployment of airbags in emerging economies and the move to Advanced Driver Assistance (ADAS) systems in developed markets, says Bodet.

Zero late disease detection can be achieved by the domestic ‘intelligent hospital’ – i.e home devices which monitor blood pressure, heartbeat etc which are becoming affordable and convenient.

Zero emissions in cars can be achieved by improvements in petrol engines but most significantly by a move towards electrification. For the latter, a heavy investment in R&D, government taxes on emissions and tough standards are required, says Bodet.

Zero defects in manufacturing processes are achievable with these already being measured in parts per billion in many cases.

And finally, there’s the bane of dropped phone calls and interrupted data comms links. Reducing these to zero is another, achievable, challenge for the semiconductor industry, says Bodet.



  1. “1.3 million deaths …. could be reduced to zero by wider deployment of airbags in emerging economies”
    I think Terry is right. Airbags might reduce deaths by 10% but to zero? Not a chance with car wrecks like this common in India.

  2. I’m sure that’s true Mark, but it would be very bad for the semiconductor industry if governments believed that. Because it’s government legislation which imposes new safety measures on the auto people and the chip people who provide the means to do it.

  3. As Smeed’s Law has show for decades, its psychology not safety measures that dominate when road safety.

  4. They seem like existing political problems to me. I think we would all be happier if the race was on to build the next great things.

  5. Yes Terry, pedestrians and cyclists are protected by radar, cameras, displays, driver-monitoring, lane departure warning and automated braking. Car drivers and passengers are protected by airbags.

  6. Airbags in cars don’t help the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, a large part of the road toll, particularly in developing countries.
    It’s complete rubbish to suggest that airbags can solve the road safety problem.

  7. You’re right, Dr Bob, the 1.3 million figure comes from WHO’s Global Status Report On Road Safety 2009 which also puts the number of injuries worldwide at ’20-50 million’. I’ve changed the text – thanks for pointing out the mistake.

  8. Ah yes, the concept of a perfect world. Ideologically sweet, but who can afford to pay for it ?

  9. More deaths than injuries on the roads does not sound right

  10. How very very true, Mike, those b. operators’ capex always lags demand.

  11. Zero dropped phone calls isn’t a semiconductor problem – it’s a lack of investment problem !!

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