3 reasons radar tops lidar in mass-market AV deployments | Automotive News

Thanks to the advent of radar sensors coupled with cutting-edge machine learning algorithms, AVs outfitted with radar sensors can finally provide active sensing capabilities on a par with their lidar counterparts, and sometimes even better.

As momentum in AV development started to pick up two decades ago, researchers focused primarily on lidar because it offered unmatched spatial resolution inherently given its shorter wavelength.

In the pursuit of AV breakthroughs using lidar, many researchers have since lost sight of radar’s potential.

Radio frequency energy has an inherent advantage over the optical wavelengths used in lidar systems. The longer-wavelength radio waves can penetrate mediums that might otherwise scatter or absorb the higher-frequency energy of lidar.

But companies that leverage standard, mass-manufactured radar sensor silicon with software and antenna enhancements can avoid the design and supply chain challenges of incorporating new lidar systems into vehicles.

For many years, developing market-ready perception and navigation solutions for AVs meant choosing between performance and cost.

Intelligent radar sensors combine the competitive performance capabilities of other perception solutions with a price point attainable for auto companies across all markets.

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