Radar for Pedestrian Safety
2014 R&D 100 Winner
Despite massive increases in overall safety, motor vehicles exact a distressing toll on human life each year, with more than 30,000 passenger deaths and 4,000 pedestrian injuries in the U.S. alone. As radar technologies improve, they are increasingly adopted by vehicle manufacturers as a way to reduce these losses. Several types of radar-enabled early warning and pedestrian sensing systems have been developed by automotive OEMs, but Toyota Motor Corp. is the first to manufacture an Automotive Phased Array Radar (APAR) that satisfies the requirements for widespread use in vehicle safety systems while also providing a wide 100-degree sensing arc capable of effectively detecting pedestrians. Developed by Toyota Technical Center, the Univ. of California, San Diego, Fujitsu-Ten and the Michigan Technological Research Institute, APAR features a single, silicon germanium radio frequency integrated circuit (RFIC) package optimized for high-frequency 77-GHz signals and high-temperature operation. The RFIC has 16 phase shifters, which control the beam shape and direction of the radar, but the total chip package size is just 5.5 x 5.5 mm2. Because the beam-forming components are implemented in the RFIC, APAR can much more effectively identify people than other radar solutions.
Automotive phased array radar
The Automotive Phased Array Radar (APAR) Development Team
Jae Seung Lee, Principal Developer, Toyota Technical Center
Gabriel M. Rebeiz, Principal Developer, Univ. of California, San Diego
Paul Schmalenberg, Principal Developer, Toyota Technical Center
Koji Shiozaki, Principal Developer, Toyota Motor Corp.
Nikola Subotic, Principal Developer, Michigan Technological Research Institute
Shinichi Yamano, Principal Developer, Fujitsu-Ten