Meeting the demands of autonomous perception systems

smartmicro featured in Autonomous Vehicle International Magazine

The demands of fully autonomous solutions continue to pace the evolution of highly reliable sensing modalities. Perception stacks act as the brain of autonomous systems by acting on sensor data to make rapid decisions for path planning and collision avoidance to ensure safe transportation of people and goods. To that end, the performance of autonomous perception stacks is dependent on the capabilities and quality of the sensors providing real-time information about the real world.

A vehicle is a machine – it lacks human senses: vision, the concept of distance, feeling for space, and awareness of surroundings. Perception stacks act on information provided by sensors, such as dynamic objects and stationary obstacles, creating a base for the vehicle to function autonomously without the need for a person in the driver’s seat.

smartmicro, a Germany-based producer of radar technology for automotive and industrial applications has extensive experience in the development of automotive radar solutions. With 25 years of international market presence, over 15 million vehicles are operating on the roads today using smartmicro developed radar sensors. The combination of decades of experience and focus on radar has enabled smartmicro to create a product portfolio of ready-made radars characterized by their accuracy, reliability, and configurability that meet the demands of today’s autonomous perception systems.

The DRVEGRD family of radar sensors serves to meet the diverse requirements of autonomous solutions. The long-range DRVEGRD 152, providing a coverage of up to 180m, is the perfect fit for front and rear placement. Combined with the corner radar DRVEGRD 169, with an impressive horizontal field of view of 140°, the DRVEGRD radar sensors provide a high resolution 360° of coverage around the autonomous vehicle.

Fully autonomous solutions further dictate that radar sensors meet an evolving set of system integration requirements. The autonomous sensors of today must offer support for advanced features such as over-the-air (OTA) updates, synchronization, dynamic mode reconfiguration, in addition to supporting a wide array of development environments, such as C++, ROS/ROS2, and NVIDIA DRIVE® OS.

smartmicro’s DRVEGRD line excels in dynamic reconfigurability, enabling real-time changes in operating modes. By seamlessly integrating with the perception stack, these radars can swiftly adjust their settings to meet the requirements of autonomous applications based upon changes in the operating environment. This capability ensures that the radar sensors consistently deliver precise and reliable object detection in a given area of interest, even in complex and dynamic environments.

Fulfilling the safety goals of autonomous system providers should no longer be considered a wishful goal. It is a requirement for the technology and a basis for further development in this sector. smartmicro DRVEGRD radars are designed to provide perception stacks with the data necessary to prevent collisions, trigger timely warning signals, and enable autonomous safety functions in robo-taxis and autonomous shuttles, ensuring the protection of passengers, pedestrians, and surrounding vehicles.



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