Vayyar Imaging’s 4D point cloud application for automotive sensors gives cars a view of everything happening both inside and around a vehicle. Vayyar’s radar on a chip creates a moment-by-moment visual map. The map covers passengers inside the vehicle, as well as pedestrians and objects from without.
Image from Vayyar
4D point cloud data is based on 3D images with a 4th dimension – time. It is a time series of 3D images. Through it, a 3D image can be represented and analyzed over time. Thus, more than just locations, shape and dimensions, but also movement information is captured. The car’s total environment can be completely classified.
Radar on a Chip
Vayyar’s radar-on-a-chip (RoC) includes 48 transceivers at 76-81GHz and this allows over 2,000 virtual channels. The RoC also encompasses an internal DSP to allow for real-time signal processing.
Vayyar’s exterior solutions can enable mapping and classification of the car’s external surroundings. This will make possible:
Parking assistance through trajectory mapping and object detection
- Blind spot detection
- Lane switching assistance for drivers
- Alerts for height obstacles and obstructions
Image from Vayyar
With Vayyar’s sensors, systems can be devised that go beyond warning of potential driving mishaps.
In-cabin solutions can include:
- Tracking the driver’s vital signs
- Measuring the driver’s head movement and position
- Measure driver and passenger body orientation to affect air-bag optimization
- Recognize gestures for infotainment control
- Classify vehicle occupants by size, weight, and age
- Sense a baby’s presence in an otherwise unoccupied vehicle
Radar’s Advantages Over LiDAR
LiDAR is based on lasers, which are severely disadvantaged by rain, snow, fog or dust. Vayyar also claims that systems based on their sensors are less expensive than many LiDAR-based solutions.
As Ian Podkamien, Director of Automotive Business Development for Vayyar Imaging describes it, “Today, existing radar solutions do not deliver 4D point cloud capabilities. Vayyar is the first to close the gap between the robustness of radars and the resolution of LiDAR and optics. Our real-time, 4D point cloud solution can work in any environmental condition and doesn’t compromise one’s privacy. We believe our sensors will create a shift in the way the automotive industry will use radar in the future. We look forward to working with our partners to increase passenger safety worldwide,”
Vayyar’s single-chip solution can be integrated into existing automotive frameworks, potentially reducing the overall cost and number of sensors needed for the vehicle.
Beyond the Auto
Radar signals are not blocked by ordinary materials, which means that Vayyar’s RoC can be used for purposes not possible through LiDAR.
One example is freight and cargo management. Vayyar’s 4D point cloud application can:
- Optimize cargo space in a truck by recognizing unused areas
- Monitor cargo distribution
- Detect moving or shifted cargo
How the Vayyar 4D Point Cloud system "sees". Image from Vayyar
The technology also has wide applications in:
- Smart homes
To see some of these applications demonstrated, check out Vayyar's video on the automotive 360° sensor below:
Who Else Is Making Radar Imaging Chips?
There is a lot of interest in 4D automotive radar, although each of the manufacturers takes somewhat different slants on the issue. It should be noted that most of the manufacturers involved don’t have devices ready to deliver in OEM quantities, but rather have products in advanced stages of development.
There are many startups involved, and some of them have received heavy investment from outside tech entities. There is much talk of budding partnerships.
- SteradianSemi offers an imaging radar chip to maximize pixels per square millimeter. It sports what the company describes as a large number of antenna sensors to facilitate 4D imaging through radar.
- RFISee is developing a 4D imaging radar chip that generates real-time 3D location and velocity, and map the cars’ surrounding objects. It operates on the standard automotive radar frequency band of 76 to 61 GHz.
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