Articles | Volume 3
12 May 2005
12 May 2005

Automotive Radar and Lidar Systems for Next Generation Driver Assistance Functions

R. H. Rasshofer and K. Gresser

Abstract. Automotive radar and lidar sensors represent key components for next generation driver assistance functions (Jones, 2001). Today, their use is limited to comfort applications in premium segment vehicles although an evolution process towards more safety-oriented functions is taking place. Radar sensors available on the market today suffer from low angular resolution and poor target detection in medium ranges (30 to 60m) over azimuth angles larger than ±30°. In contrast, Lidar sensors show large sensitivity towards environmental influences (e.g. snow, fog, dirt). Both sensor technologies today have a rather high cost level, forbidding their wide-spread usage on mass markets.

A common approach to overcome individual sensor drawbacks is the employment of data fusion techniques (Bar-Shalom, 2001). Raw data fusion requires a common, standardized data interface to easily integrate a variety of asynchronous sensor data into a fusion network. Moreover, next generation sensors should be able to dynamically adopt to new situations and should have the ability to work in cooperative sensor environments.

As vehicular function development today is being shifted more and more towards virtual prototyping, mathematical sensor models should be available. These models should take into account the sensor's functional principle as well as all typical measurement errors generated by the sensor.