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Fujitsu Ten developing compact 3D electronic scan mm-wave radar for automotive applications; delivery in 2014

19 October 2012

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2D vs. 3D scanning. Click to enlarge.

Fujitsu Ten Ltd. has developed a compact 77 GHz three-dimensional electronic scan millimeter-wave radar for automotive applications that is capable of detecting an object in three dimensions, including the elevation range in addition to distance and azimuth range. While making further improvements, the company intends to deliver this product to automobile manufacturers from 2014.

This developed product is for frontward detection usage. By sensing the three dimensions—elevation, distance and azimuth—the product can the product can identify obstacles on the road more reliably from further away. The company will describe the new radar unit in a paper at the 19th ITS World Congress.

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The new 77GHz 3D electronic scan millimeter wave radar unit. Click to enlarge.

Using advanced signal processing technology jointly-developed with Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. and an innovative design of the antenna for transmitting and receiving radio waves, the Fujitsu Ten 3D unit is the size of its latest 2D electronic scan millimeter-wave radar, and fits in the palm of a hand. The product can be mounted in a wide range of automobiles from large-sized automobiles to small-sized automobiles.

The axis adjustment used to be conducted when mounting the millimeter-wave radar in the automobile factory can be simplified, which contributes to the productivity improvement.

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The 2D unit introduced in 2010. Click to enlarge.

In recent years, automobile pre-crash safety features designed to reduce the damage at the time of automobile collision have been moving to full-scale implementation. Millimeter-wave radar is one of the key devices that can detect objects in front of the automobile.

Millimeter wave radar measures distance, angle, and relative speed from the automobile by transmitting and receiving radio waves. It is increasingly used as automobile-mounted radar that foresees the collision and reduces the collision damages by interlocking with alarm and braking system. It is less likely affected by bad weathers such as rain, fog, and snow, dust or dirt.

In 1997, Fujitsu Ten developed the first practical application of 60 GHz millimeter-wave radar for dump trucks. Since 2003, a wide variety of frontward, rearward, and front-sideward 77 GHz millimeter-wave radars have been developed for passenger cars.

In 2010, Fujitsu Ten developed the Vehicle-Mounted 76-GHz Millimeter Wave Radar, a more compact unit about half the size of those that came before it. Recently, the technology has gone beyond collision protection, leading to the establishment of ACC (Adaptable Cruise Control) technology that maintains a set distance from the car in front and CMS (Collision Mitigation System) technology that warns when anticipating possible collision and automatically controls braking.

October 19, 2012 in Connected vehicles, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), Safety, Vehicle Systems | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Looks good if we are to have fully automated cars.
Image based systems are too easy to fool and the scenes are too complex to analyse in all cases.
This is a good case of throwing hardware (rather than software) at the problem (which, in my opinion, is correct in this case).
I wonder how much the cost (or will cost in 3-5 years).

Improved low cost 3D detectors may very well be the first step towards autonomous vehicles. Improved faster Drive by Wire system in future e-vehicles will also become valuable. Of course, a small but fast on board computer and appropriate software will be developed to compute events and decide what action to take.

In the short term, this unit would already benefit many negligent drivers that are too busy looking elsewhere or texting and too often take their eyes off the road and traffic. Many serious accidents could be avoided.

The radar data is just as hard to process as is a visual image.. but the radar will penetrate fog, rain and dirt on the lens. Put a radar retroreflector on the back of your car and it will see you from very far away :)

These detectors are fine and improvements are worthwhile but autonomous systems are unreliable. All cars need transponders, at the very least, and realistically all (or almost all) cars need to be working interactively.

These detectors might make driving safer - as long as comfortable seats and good detectors promote safety more than they promote inattention and sleep.

Inattention, drunk-drugged and sleepy drivers can also be easily detected. Faulty drivers can/could be warned or bypassed.

Digitized radar data can be processed accurately at very high speed with relatively low cost computers. Reaction time between detection and appropriate corrective action (s) can be very short, up to 5+X times faster the the average (sober, not drugged nor sleepy) human driver.

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