Semiconductors are stepping up to meet the challenge of active automotive safety systems. As crash detection begins to merge with other electronics in the vehicle, such as communications and advanced driver assistance, the automobile is becoming more autonomous and more intelligent. Electronic systems that can act faster than the driver will be able to take control to reduce the severity and frequency of accidents, saving lives on the roads.
In the area of active safety, systems enabled by radar technology are becoming more prevalent. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows the driver to set a safe "follow distance" to the car in front of him or her, and automatically accelerates and decelerates the car to keep that follow distance constant. Some systems also include automatic braking features that will apply the brakes if the car in front stops quickly or if an object blocks the road. Likewise Blind Spot Detection systems can also depend on radar.
As in-car radar moves from being a luxury option to a standard safety feature, and from high-end to mid-range cars, the adoption and growth rates depend on the system cost. As radar becomes more affordable, and offers better performance in terms of target classification and range resolution, it will become a more popular option.
For system designers, there is a need to add these safety features without incurring substantial cost while still meeting the automotive industry's stringent quality requirements. Additionally, the radar sensor module must be kept small enough to fit into areas of the car, such as behind the bumper, which were not originally designed to house such electronics.
For the complete article as to how a compact integrated radar front end helps meet such challenges, click here, courtesy of Automotive Designline Europe.
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