While its short-term outlook for the automotive sensor industry projects a contracting market in 1999 and 2000, a new study estimates that the advent of new technologies will assure a thriving industry in the long term. The short-term contraction will result from price pressures and a projected slowdown in vehicle production, according to research conducted by Frost & Sullivan, an international marketing consulting firm that monitors the automotive industry. This is the company's third annual examination of the market. Technological innovation is expected to spur growth late in the 1999-2005 forecast period, the study anticipates. Sensors already assist electronically controlled braking systems and steering, suspension, climate control systems, and emissions systems. New applications that are expected to drive the market include infrared and ultrasonic sensors for occupant detection, and infrared, ultrasonic, and microwave radar systems for obstacle detection. Revenues for the North American sensor market in 1998 are estimated at $1.9 billion.