According to Tier 1 supplier Magna, when its Icon Radar system debuts on the Fisker Ocean next year, it will mark the first application of digital radar for driver-assisted technology.
“Icon Digital Radar dramatically improves performance over today’s analog radar, bringing it to levels which have not yet been experienced in automotive applications,” said Boris Shulkin, EVP, technology and investment at Magna International. “Similar to other digital breakthroughs in the consumer electronics and mobile phone industries, we expect digital radar to transform the way we think about radar’s role in road safety – today and in the future.”
Magna and tech startup Uhnder, based in Austin, Texas, partnered to develop the technology, which continuously scans its full environment in four dimensions, resulting in higher resolution and better contrast than analog radar. This is said to give it the power to sense moving or standing objects, large or small, at both short and long distances.
The system also eliminates interference concerns experienced by today’s analog radar. Each digital radar has a quintillion unique codes embedded into the signal it transmits, helping minimize the negative effects of mutual interference. Effectively, no two radars in the world would have the same code.
“We believe the time is right to make a paradigm shift toward digital radar systems enabling our customers like Magna to have more accurate information from their radar sensor so they can develop sophisticated algorithms to help save more lives,” noted Manju Hegde, CEO and co-founder of Uhnder.
Magna says its agreement to acquire Veoneer, announced last week, will further strengthen the company’s radar portfolio.