Panasonic has announced an interesting new advanced in millimeter-wave radar technology for automotive uses. The new radar technology is designed to detect pedestrians and vehicles in low visibility conditions at intersections. This type of radar can see clearly at night and in rain or snow. It can also see very well against strong direct sunlight, which can blind drivers.
The goal of the new radar technology is to detect pedestrians and bicycles that might be otherwise hidden from the driver’s view. This is an important development as well because accidents at intersections account for about half the traffic fatalities each year. The radar technology would be integrated into traffic monitoring sensors at intersections and to detect pedestrians and bicycles up to 40 m ahead no matter the conditions.
Panasonic’s advance is that the technology can detect humans and cars at the same time despite the fact that humans reflect weak radar signals compared to cars. The radar has a resolution of less than 50 cm and angular resolution of 5°. One thing that I am unclear on from the schematic offered by Panasonic is how exactly a sensor mounted in the intersection will alert drivers of bikes or pedestrians. It seems like this radar would be more appropriate to be installed in a vehicle rather than on the intersection.