I very recently read an article about Magna and their partnership with Uhndar; specifically, the new ICON™ Digital Radar system which promises to revolutionise ADAS technology by 2022.
My initial thought was that ADAS is already an amazing fusion of leading sensor technologies, so how can one single sensor technology be that much better? I then learned this was about digital radar, not analogue radar.
Working with radar every day creating MD soft test targets, I am all too aware of the limitations regarding analogue radar. Notably, its inability to see everything clearly ahead, especially in challenging conditions. For example, multiple trucks and tunnels can easily confuse what radar detects up ahead - meaning the pedestrian, motorcycle or unusually shaped vehicle can all easily be missed, leading to potentially fatal results.
Limitations such as these, are the very reason why Moshon Data designed and introduced a small product known as the RadViz© (a vehicle retro fit device). This nifty little device helps ensure that unusual objects in the path of the radar (which often go unrecognised) are seen with a known, tuned radar signature.
With LiDAR, Camera and Radar fusion, we already know that the technology is making great headway, which leads me to question how much more can digital radar bring to the table on its own?
Currently, radar is already able to determine velocities and relative traffic speeds. However, it seems that digital radar is bringing something new to the table; coming in with crystal-clear digital data and presented in such a way that analogue radar couldn’t hope to achieve. Moreover, all of this up to 300 m - the new digital radar technology really does look to be very promising indeed, especially when it comes to longer ranges.
Even when you consider the detail that LiDAR and Camera can bring into play, it is still only typically available at closer ranges. Thus, new technologies such as digital radar, which boasts long-distance ability, can surely only be a good thing? That said, we should not overlook the fact that longer-range advancements are also being developed with LiDAR and Camera technologies, so it would be prudent to bear this in mind on our quest.
Personally, I very much look forward to hearing more about how digital radar evolves into the larger ADAS and autonomous market. Namely, how other technologies evolve alongside it and how well they will work together. Can a single, simple technology solution one day shine above all others?
Technical Manager @ Moshon Data.