Magna taps military tech for HD radar

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Technology used by the US military has been incorporated into a new high-resolution automotive radar solution from Magna. The company has worked with tech startup Uhnder to bring the Icon Radar to market in 2019.

The company says the military technology enables precise detection, extensive range and high resiliency – and that Icon Radar will help close the gap between Level 3 and Level 5 to reach full reliable autonomous driving.

With a range of more than 300m, Icon Radar continuously scans the environment in four dimensions (distance, height, depth and speed). The company says the radar can detect and track almost 100 times as many objects as competitive systems, individually classifying them.

As well as static objects including guard rails, road debris and speed bumps, it can track moving objects including vehicles, bicyclists, pedestrians and pets. It has the ability to distinguish smaller objects such as children and bicyclists in close proximity to larger, more easily detectable things such as parked cars and moving trucks.

“Magna has identified some of the world’s most advanced technologies and ‘auto-qualified’ them for use in the auto industry,” said Swamy Kotagiri, chief technology officer at Magna. “Our Icon Radar takes the best of military technology and improves on it for automotive use – taking a significant step forwards towards full autonomy.”

Icon Radar continuously scans its full environment 50 times faster than the time it takes a human to blink an eye. Its imaging capability pulls from 192 virtual receivers incorporated into a single system. These virtual receivers are applied to deliver both horizontal and vertical resolution. Icon Radar can be integrated into an auto maker’s autonomous system or Magna’s Max4 autonomous vehicle platform.

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As editor of four magazines at UKi Media & Events James brings over a decade of writing about, and obsessing over, technology and cars to Automotive Interiors World, Stadia, Winter Sports Technology International and Auditoria. Responsible for commissioning, writing and editing each issue he’s covered the best (and worst) from around the industry on a continual search to feature the latest innovation or talking point on the next cover.

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