White Paper: Automotive

A Detailed Introduction to Automotive Radar Technology


Automotive radars have become a ubiquitous part of safety systems in modern vehicles. This article introduces some of the most fundamental concepts that may be needed to better understand the use and engineering of automotive radar technology. Topics such as application, operating concept, major functional blocks, and system considerations are discussed.

Even with today’s high-tech collision avoidance systems, 1.3 million people still lose their lives in vehicle accidents every year. And although LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges, gets all the attention in the news, it is easy to forget that automotive radar is still the most important automotive collision prevention sensor on the road today.

Radar is the most robust technology in terms of availability in various weather conditions and provides highly accurate range and detection capability, all in an economical package. Almost all modern Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) come with one or more radar sensors. As vehicle autonomy levels increase, the quantity of automotive radars sold in the world only stands to rise. This article will attempt to provide a technical overview of automotive radar for readers who may not have background knowledge on the subject.


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