Cyclist (VRU) detection and intersection management with smartmicro sensors

Advanced radar sensors are a possible way to protect VRUs and make intersections safer.

In 2021, the German Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt) registered over 90,900 accidents involving a cyclist. Since this group is considered part of so-called VRUs (Vulnerable Road Users), many accidents have ended with severe injuries or even fatalities. Intersections, especially the complex and impassable, are a common black spot for casualties. Especially these intersections, usually including speeding vehicles and increased traffic, offer little to no reaction time for bike users when encountering a dangerous situation. Additionally, the sections of the road where cyclists and pedestrians, another Vulnerable Road Users group, share with vehicles can be easily overlooked by turning drivers, increasing the already high chance of an accident.

Advanced radar sensors are a possible way to protect VRUs and make intersections safer. An essential requirement for the sensor technology is the accurate and reliable detection of all road users. smartmicro's 77GHz radar sensors are ideally suited for the detection and tracking of VRUs across multiple lanes in parallel, due to their 4D/UHD resolution. Field tests have proven that smartmicro's 77GHz sensor radars offer the highest detection accuracy and proper classification. An additional advantage is the sensors' installation flexibility. For example, if the zones of interest for detection change, they can be modified and adjusted as desired within the sensor's coverage. Finally, the radar sensors deliver consistently high performance across all weather conditions, requiring no maintenance.

It's not only the stop-line detection accuracy that makes the smartmicro sensor a successful tool in accident prevention. Another vital aspect is the long range of the devices. smartmicro radar sensors offer multiple modes, allowing range configuration in software based on the needs of the particular location - making the smartmicro sensors a software-defined radar. With ranges of up to 175m, road users are detectable at an early stage, far before approaching the dangerous center of the intersection. This data can further be processed by the traffic light control system and used, for example, for preferential treatment of cyclists - a Green Wave.

Radar sensors also provide the information needed to increase safety. Detected cyclists in a bike lane parallel to the road can trigger digital signs and generate a warning for vehicles in the blind spot.

In recent years, bicycles have become increasingly popular in inner-city areas. The trend comes partially from sustainability-related reasons and as a solution to ease the traffic and parking situation. Metropolises that see value in making their cities smarter are focused on expanding the bike traffic in their area. smartmicro technology helps make biking an attractive - and safer - means of transport.