Automotive Engineering - March 2022 - 24

Expanding ADAS roles for
RADAR AND CAMERAS
Spartan Radar
engineer Bryan Cough
confirming test targets
are aligned before
gathering testing data.
Evolving into lidar alternatives, the bread-and-butter sensors of ADAS are seeing
potential far beyond commodity status.
by Paul Seredynski
C
ameras and radar have become so widely used
in advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) that
it'd be easy to label them as commodities. The
well-known technologies, in use in the automotive
space now for decades, are often considered
only placeholders for lower-level autonomy while the
industry waits for significant lidar price reductions. But
cameras and radar systems continue to evolve rapidly
and may even supplant the need for lidar.
" Backup cameras and blind-spot detection are two
applications for cameras and radar, respectively, that
are the most likely to just be commoditized. It's going
to be the 'lowest man wins,] " explained Phil Amsrud,
senior principal analyst, IHS Markit. He and other industry
experts note that regardless of lidar progress,
advances in camera and radar tech means their roles
in autonomy are far from complete.
" There certainly are people that look at lidar as
fools' gold. I won't say who he is, but he's got a car
company, and he goes into space periodically, "
Amsrud quipped. " I think the majority of the industry
is looking at lidar as it brings something to the party
that's unique, but we're now seeing sensors that are
starting to compete with each other for the same
space. When we had standard-resolution radar and
24 March 2022
lower-resolution cameras, then lidar was the high-resolution solution
everybody saw on the horizon. Those three sensors were seen to
work cooperatively. "
" But now that you're starting to look at higher resolution on cameras
and radar, I think there's going to be a little pressure on lidar in
terms of, 'How much of your value proposition can I get with it, or
can I cover it with high-resolution imaging radar and higher-resolution
cameras?' " Amsrud noted. " Whereas there used to be white
spaces between them, do cameras and radars cover enough of that
white space? Maybe you don't eliminate lidar, but maybe you use
lidar more strategically than saying, 'I'm going to put an entire halo
of lidar around the car.' "
Cameras inside and out
A key aspect of autonomy involves not just what is happening outside
the vehicle, but ensuring vehicle " drivers " are paying enough
attention to resume control when needed. " It's really all about seeing
farther outside or inside the car, " Amsrud said. " As driver monitoring
evolves from head tilt to pupil dilation, you've got to have a lot more
resolution to be able to see those smaller geometries. You've also got
continuing performance improvement in terms of high dynamic
range so that you can better differentiate very broad contrast, so
coming out of a tunnel into a well-lit area, " he noted of continued
camera evolution.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING
SPARTAN RADAR

Automotive Engineering - March 2022

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