Global automotive supplier DENSO Corporation has developed a smaller and more cost-effective laser radar, which is an active safety technology that will help avoid low-speed collisions. DENSO’s new laser radar is used as a sensor for the Smart Assist System of the Daihatsu Move, a compact vehicle released in the Japanese market last December.
Daihatsu’s Smart Assist System consists of four technologies; DENSO’s laser radar will be used for technologies (1), (2) and (3), to detect obstacles in front of the vehicle:
Brakes that assist low-speed crash avoidance. Laser Radar identifies the vehicle in front when driving at speeds of approximately 4-30 km/h (2.5 to 18.6 mph). A buzzer alerts the driver of a high risk of crash and an indicator is displayed within the meter. If the driver still fails to steer or brake and the risk of a crash is heightened to an extreme level, it activates emergency brakes. This will avert a crash when relative speed is around or below 20 km/h (12.4 mph), or assist in reducing damage at approximately 20-30 km/h.
Gas pedal misoperation control. When the car is at a standstill or moving at around or below 10 km/h (6.2 mph), and an obstacle (building or wall) ahead is within four meters, the system will alert the driver with a buzzer sound and meter indication when it judges that the gas pedal has been depressed more than necessary due to driver error, and restrict vehicle motion by controlling the engine output. Engine output control will continue for up to eight seconds while the gas pedal is activated.
Front vehicle alert. When the car is at a standstill at a stoplight or in traffic with a vehicle in front, the system notifies the driver with a buzzer sound and meter indication when the car remains still after the car in front moves.
VSC and TRC. In addition to the standard ABS (with EBD [electronic brake force distribution] function) feature, all models are equipped with TRC (traction control) that prevents drive wheels from slipping upon acceleration, and VSC (vehicle stability control) that combines skidding control during turns. These features secure vehicle stability in sudden steering operations and when turning on slippery roads.
As automakers have been accelerating efforts to develop systems to avoid collisions and reduce impact when a collision cannot be avoided, sensor for these technologies must be balanced in terms of performance, size and cost for respective vehicle models and systems. We were able to reduce the overall size of our new radar to allow it to be easily adaptable across vehicle models and systems.—Hiroyuki Wakabayashi, executive director responsible for DENSO’s Information & Safety Systems Business Group
To consolidate space, the newly developed laser radar features a simpler laser beam generation mechanism than previous versions. Also, the electronic control unit was integrated into the signal processing boards, which were typically separate. Additionally, DENSO was able to reduce the overall size of the radar by using a smaller lens.
|New laser radar. Click to enlarge.|