When it comes to the development of autonomous driving technology, self driving car radar is paving the way as a key component on the path to fully developed self driving cars. Depending on how advanced the self driving car radar system is, the radar can determine various aspects of a nearby object, such as its range and angle in relation to the vehicle, as well as its velocity. This is often utilized in many vehicles’ collision avoidance systems today.

How Does Self Driving Car Radar Technology Work?

The latest in radar technology is vehicle-to-everything radar (V2X-radar). It combines vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, utilizing a single antenna.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology can survey 360-degrees around the vehicle, allowing it to calculate nearby vehicles’ current and future positions while determining its route. Meanwhile, vehicle-to-infrastructure technology utilizes signals to help optimize fuel economy and commute time. The single antenna works as part of a Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) system. This system works as a two-way, short-range communication system that is run wirelessly between vehicles. It allows the vehicles to exchange data with surrounding vehicles and traffic signals. V2X-radar technology utilizes these wireless signals to sense the environment around it. For instance, Cohida’s V2X-radar system works with an NPX Roadlink chipset and works by simply installing the system software that reads IEEE 802.11 conforming wireless signals.

These sensors collect information, which is shared between vehicles and infrastructure such as buildings and road signs. Radio signals spring off such objects surrounding the vehicle as the signal goes from the transmitter to the receiver. The self driving car radar system can be connected to 3D mapping technology to enhance its accuracy. Plus, using Doppler measurements, the system can detect other vehicles’ speeds. Testing for this technology has been in the works for years. One popular test project was the Safe and Intelligent Mobility–Test Field Germany (simTD) project in Germany. It was done with the intention to help improve road safety and traffic efficiency using various warning systems in conjunction with real-time traffic data. The testing was done in 2012, backed by big players such as Audi, Ford, Daimler, and more.

 

Self Driving Car Radar Technology and Today’s Market

A great example of self driving car radar technology being available on today’s market is Volvo’s XC90 SUV. The vehicle uses this technology in many of its safety features, using a 360-degree surround radar and vision system. It is comprised of four cameras and a radar sensor. The sensors are located at each corner of the vehicle. The vision system features two cameras under the rear-view mirror, one is located in the front grille, and one on the back bumper. This can be seen in safety features such as City Safety – Low and High Speed Collision. It works to scan for objects such as surrounding vehicles, pedestrians, and even cyclists. The system then sends a signal to the vehicle to implement braking to avoid a collision.

How is Self Driving Car Radar Technology Revolutionizing Driving?

One of the reasons vehicle-to-everything technology is transforming self driving car radar technology is because it works to sense its environment. It can sense buildings, road signs and even vehicles that do not have vehicle-to-vehicle radar capabilities. Dr. Paul Gray, who the CEO of Cohda Wireless – a company that specializes in V2X-radar technology, says that V2X systems are essential for driverless cars, extending their view beyond that of traditional sensors… allowing driverless cars to sense the environment in ways not previously imagined.

Another key component that makes V2X-radar one of the leading self driving car radar technologies is that it can withstand weather conditions such as fog, snow and fog. It can also sense around corners in these conditions. Such advanced self driving car radar technology will impact the entire automotive industry. In fact, the Assistant Editor at Embedded Computing Design, Brandon Lewis, reports that V2X architectures consist of elements that span all tiers of the automotive industry as well as network infrastructure (from in-car devices and applications to the cloud), and stitch together sensor information and big data with seamless connectivity to form systems of systems amidst the transit base.

It remains to be seen whether vehicle-to-everything technology is merely a basis for what’s to come, or if further advancements made to the technology form will be enough. One thing is for certain, and that is that self driving car radar technology is taking over.