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4D Millimeter Wave Radar,The Next Battlefield of Autopilot Sensor?

4D Millimeter Wave Radar will be the next batterfiled of autopilot sensor in the future?


At present, there are disputes among global automobile manufacturers about which sensor system is the most effective for autonomous vehicle, including Tesla, which tends to adopt pure visual perception system.


With the increasingly fierce competition in the global automotive sensor market, Tesla announced that it would abandon millimeter wave radar and adopt a pure visual perception system based on camera from this month. The system has no radar and only relies on the external camera of the vehicle to realize the semi-automatic driving function, which can meet the requirements of L2 + level autonomous vehicle and l4/5 level unmanned taxis.


However, some automakers highlighted potential challenges associated with pure visual perception systems, including the possibility that cameras may not work properly in bad weather conditions.

4D Millimeter Wave Radar


At the same time, the emerging 4D imaging radar technology strengthens the object detection function of the traditional millimeter wave radar and can work well under different weather conditions. Observers are optimistic that 4D radar can replace lidar for L2 + and L3-5 autonomous vehicle.


In short, 4D imaging radar adds detection and analysis of target height dimension data on the basis of ordinary millimeter wave radar, that is, it adds z-axis data on the basis of x-axis and y-axis data of traditional millimeter wave radar, so as to realize information perception in four dimensions of distance, azimuth, height and speed.


Range, velocity and angle are the three performance dimensions of traditional millimeter wave radar.


Because the traditional millimeter wave radar lacks the ability of height measurement, low angle resolution, sparse point clouds, and ignores static objects, it only plays a supporting role in the auto drive system. With the rapid development of L3 and above advanced automatic driving, the requirements for environmental perception accuracy are higher and higher. Therefore, the innovative sensor of lidar is highly sought after. For cameras and millimeter wave radars, higher detection resolution and artificial intelligence algorithms are needed. In order to solve these disadvantages, 4D radar came into being on the basis of ordinary millimeter wave radar.

4D imaging millimeter wave radar


The main problem of 4D imaging radar is that there is no 4D imaging millimeter wave radar product that can land on a real scale.

First, the demand of car enterprises for 4D millimeter wave radar is not clear. Auto parts enterprises are mostly demand-oriented when developing products, but at present, auto enterprises are not sure which function is required in L3 automatic driving vehicles, This 4D rador that only needs to output point cloud.
Originally, millimeter wave radar only outputs targets with range and velocity information, but when 4D imaging millimeter wave radar also provides additional points with azimuth information, there is no clear scheme in the industry for what kind of perception purpose enterprises should use this feature to achieve.


Secondly, there is no test equipment for 4D imaging millimeter wave radar in the industry, and the ecological chain of the industry is not mature. Manufacturers can only use the test equipment of traditional millimeter wave radar to verify the performance of their 4D imaging millimeter wave radar products.


However, the problem is that the resolution of traditional test equipment such as target simulator is not high, so it is impossible to verify whether the resolution of 4D imaging millimeter wave radar reaches 1 ° or a few tenths of a degree.


“We can only rely on the road, using the truth system and lidar for comparison. But in this case, if there are some basic performance problems of the product, such as antenna design, we simply can’t detect them in the laboratory, can’t do front-end testing, and can’t form a complete closed-loop R & D.”


It can be predicted that the automatic driving solution of multi-sensor fusion will still be the mainstream of the industry in the next few years, and 4D imaging radar, as a highly equipped millimeter wave radar, will obviously occupy a place in it, but it will not form a substitute relationship with lidar, and it is more likely to form a complementary relationship.

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