Radar sensor for automotive becomes more affordable

February 04, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
A high percentage of traffic accidents result from visibility issues connected to the blind spot. As a countermeasure, OEMs equip their vehicles with blind spot detectors, which are typically based on radar. This is however rather costly and for this reason restricted to high-end vehicles. Infineon and German tier one Hella KG have now jointly developed RF components for radar sensors that enable manufacturers to lower prices and power consumption likewise.

Hella already produces a 24-GHz radar sensor system for blind spot detection. This continuously updated radar scan detects moving objects even in poor weather and independent of the direction and speed of their motion. Optimized antenna concepts facilitate an even higher measuring accuracy. For example, when passing others or changing lanes, the system warns of vehicles coming from behind. When parking, the radar registers cross-traffic in the rear and prevents collisions.

Infineon's latest MMIC in the BGT24Axx chip family helps to increase the detection efficiency of the driver assistance system. It improves the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), ensuring higher precision in the detection and signaling of objects in the blind spot. The MMICs integrate all RF components like oscillators, amplifiers and reception branches with low-noise amplifiers and I/Q mixers on a single chip. Hella’s radar system thereby becomes smaller, more affordable and it consumes less power. Further, the 24 GHz chip family enables a custom-fit configuration of the hardware, depending on the system environment and application field.

By 2020, the number of worldwide installed, radar-supported driver assistance systems is expected to rise from some 14 million to more than 40 million. According to market researcher Strategy Analytics. In this context the blind spot detection system plays a decisive role. The third generation of Hella’s radar module is available now on series production and as optional equipment in any vehicle and model class, even outside of the premium segment.