The new concept is a short range scalable radar family which can enable functions including lane change assist, blind spot detection, cross traffic alert, side impact sensing and low speed collision warning. The sensors can also be integrated with the vehicle braking and electric power steering systems to provide limited emergency braking and traffic jam assist.
Martin Thoone, vice president, electronics engineering at TRW, commented: Our new radar concept is a landmark in Driver Assist Systems (DAS) technology – with a limited number of low-cost sensors independently reporting data to a central control unit, enabling a wide range of safety functions to be managed efficiently and intelligently.
Despite significant improvements in the safety systems of modern vehicles, the number of road-related accidents remains unacceptably high. We need to look at next generation active safety systems – developing lower cost sensors with multiple safety benefits such as our latest radar concept. It's our latest step in delivering 'the safety everyone deserves' and we see a strong demand for this type of system.
TRW's new sensor concept is a compact, scalable radar solution which can be used for multiple applications – either singly or in groups. This is ideal for vehicle manufacturers who may wish to start with basic driver assist functions but upgrade them in the future, or to create a modular range of safety and convenience systems that can be offered across multiple vehicle models and trim levels. For example a basic system could comprise a single forward looking sensor for low speed collision warning, a mid level system could add a pair of rear-mounted radars for blind spot detection/ lane change assist, and a premium system could add additional sensors for traffic jam assist, side impact detection or be used as part of an automatic parking solution.
Thoone continued: There is increasing consumer interest in features such as blind spot detection, lane change assist and side pre-crash systems, which can help to enhance safety - particularly when driving in city traffic and congested areas.
TRW expects that its new radar technology will be ready for production by 2015. The Company has been developing radar technology for the passenger and truck markets for over a decade with many successful launches worldwide.
Thoone added: We are experiencing strong demand for our current 24 GHz medium range radar and scalable camera system and are now looking at the long term future of DAS systems. 360 degree environmental sensing is the next step for safety and our radar concept offers an intelligent solution to deliver this.