Automotive Industry: Radar is Part of the ADAS, Autonomous Driving Revolution

n its latest report, "Radar Technologies for Automotive 2018," Yole Développement (Yole) investigated radar’s various evolution trends as well as its ecosystem and supply chain. Yole positions radar as a key technology for automotive sensing, with an increasing penetration rate.

The use of electronic components in automotive is exploding, as OEMs and Tier-1s focus heavily on the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) to deliver safer cars and reduce road fatalities. Safety bodies like Euro NCAP (Europe New Car Assessment Program) are pushing this way too, encouraging OEMs with high ratings for cars equipped with advanced safety functions such as AEB (automated emergency braking). Applications are still evolving with requirements for highways and cities, road intersection scenarios, and vulnerable road-user detection specific to pedestrians and cyclists. Today’s most advanced cars, which currently assist the driver as defined by automation levels 2 and 3, will progressively upgrade to levels 4 and 5, leading to more accurate sensor integration. Numerous sensors have been developed to serve as a car’s “eyes”, and support automation. The camera sensor is a natural technology of choice for this task, with its object recognition capability. However, it has range limitations (100 m best-case) and struggles to work in adverse weather conditions. Thus, other sensing technologies are required to enable further car automation. Radar technology fills the gap, since it is able to detect objects up to 250 m in front of the car, even in fog and poor visibility. Radar also has an impressive technology roadmap that allows for huge range and angular resolution improvement, as well as device miniaturization and cost reduction. It is also well suited for accurate velocity extraction.

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