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DENSO develops higher performance millimeter-wave radar; longer and wider-angle detection range

DENSO Corporation has developed a new and higher-performing millimeter-wave radar that has a longer and wider detection range, which helps improve the responsiveness of an active safety technology, such as Pre-crash Safety (PCS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) systems.

New mm-wave radar. Click to enlarge.

Millimeter-wave radars transmit radio waves from the front side to the vehicle ahead and analyze the arrival time and direction of the reflected radio waves to measure the distance to the vehicle and determine its velocity and position. These systems are used as sensors for PCS systems that attempt to minimize crash damage when detecting an imminent collision, and for ACC systems that maintain a safe headway distance.

DENSO’s new multi-zone radar is significantly lower in cost due to an improved material selection and also is the comparable size as the company’s previous model. The new millimeter-wave radar system is available as a factory option on the Mazda6, which launched in North America, Japan, Europe and other regions this past fall.

The longer detection range enables ACC-equipped vehicles to maintain a safe and constant distance to the vehicles in front of them—even when traveling at higher speeds. The radar’s wider-angle detection range allows the vehicle to respond more quickly and appropriately to other vehicles that might unexpectedly pull in front of you, and other dangers in curves and intersections.

—Hiroyuki Wakabayashi, executive director responsible for DENSO's Information and Safety Systems Business Group

DENSO’s new radar has a detection distance of 205 meters and a ±18° detection radius within a distance of 35 meters from the vehicle. This is compared to 151 meters and ±10° in the conventional product (see diagram below).


To achieve a longer detection distance, DENSO improved the electronic circuit design in a way that reduces electromagnetic interference that could limit the receiver’s detection of reflected radio waves. This allows the sensor to have an enhanced receiving ability for objects ahead at a longer distance. Also, by better positioning the receiving antenna, the radar has a wider detection angle, which improves system responsiveness.

In addition, to improve manufacturing efficiency, a motor was installed in the sensor to automatically adjust the antenna’s axis, which was done by hand in the previous version.

DENSO will progressively make the new millimeter wave radar system available for a greater number of vehicle models across the globe.


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