Automated driving presents a number of technical challenges for our industry – from the immense computing power to the mechatronic actuators required. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome, however, is environment recognition. If a vehicle has to react correctly to every complex traffic situation imaginable, it needs to have a constant 360-degree view of its environment. For this to happen, radar sensors are essential. Unlike cameras, radar systems also work equally well in poor visibility conditions such as oncoming headlight glare, rain, or fog. However, until now they have not been capable of visualizing their environment as a three-dimensional space. Radars normally only measure the speed, distance, and width of an object, and enable rough height estimates to be made.
In order to change this situation, ZF has developed the first high-resolution full-range radar capable of precisely determining the angle of elevation. This essentially makes radar technology capable of visualizing surroundings in 3D, with speed as an additional fourth dimension.