New generation radars ready for autonomous driving applications

Reliable detection in any environment: smartmicro's DRVEGRD Line featured in Autonomous Vehicle International

The article was originally published in the Autonomous Vehicle International magazine in April 2023. You can see the magazine preview and read the article here (click).

Enhancing safety is a key topic for assisted driving and autonomous transportation. Therefore, precise real-time object detection is essential. This applies to L2 advanced driver assistance systems and becomes even more important with a higher level (L2+) of automation.

An example is smartmicro’s new radar generation - the DRVEGRD Line. The recently released corner and front radars provide innovative Pixel-High Definition (PxHD) resolution technology with 4D object detection. They can track up to 256 objects simultaneously and provide time synchronization. The sensors also offer self-diagnostic features like temperature output, sensor blindness and misalignment.

60,000 injuries and over 500 deaths yearly – according to data presented by National Safety Council, that is the outcome of accidents in parking lots and garages in the USA alone. smartmicro’s corner radar – the DRVEGRD 169 – detects all surrounding obstacles, especially those difficult to notice for the driver. It comes with four operation modes (long-, medium-, short-, and ultra-short-range), detecting objects with a range interval of 0.1 to 130 meters. Thanks to its ultra-short-range mode, the sensor is a perfect fit for precise parking applications. DRVEGRD 169 covers a 140° wide field of view horizontally and 28° in elevation. The corner radar is aiming to increase safety by detecting potential obstacles, triggering warning signals, and supporting automated safety functions.

Radars also allow a high level of autonomy for industrial vehicles, such as delivery robots or forklifts. Warehouses all over the world are getting increasingly automated, which allows them to improve efficiency. With the rising extent of machine autonomy, advanced safety systems are a priority. One way of ensuring high safety standards is to use integrated technology for autonomous driving. By performing highly accurate real-time object detection, DRVEGRD 169 makes robots ready for human-robot collaboration.

Harsh conditions like dirt, dust, or mud, which can be found at construction sites, mines or also with agricultural applications, can be very challenging for sensors. Especially for safety applications a stable performance is mandatory. Here radar ensures a robust solution as it is not affected by challenging environmental or lighting conditions.

Reliable detection is not only important in industrial but also in urban environments. Autonomous shuttles and taxis for example require high precision in detecting obstacles, both static and moving. This significantly increases the safety of vulnerable road users (VRUs). The wide beam of DRVEGRD 171 provides a field of view of 100° and a range of up to 240 meters. Thanks to the excellent 2° true angular separation using 48 TRX channels, the radars can even detect and differentiate two targets with the same radial distance and the same radial speed. They meet the requirements of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and the L2+ autonomous vehicles market, filling the gap between state-of-the-art ADAS radars and 4D imaging radar sensors, at an attractive cost.

Autonomous driving, no matter which application or environment, is based on highly reliable and accurate technology. Thanks to the almost unbreakable design and the high performance, which is almost unaffected by all weather conditions, smartmicro’s software-defined automotive radars are an excellent choice for many applications.