TRW Unveils Next-Generation Radar Concept

September 14, 2011

The new concept is a short-range scalable radar family that can enable lane-change assist, blind-spot detection, cross-traffic alert, side-impact sensing, and low-speed collision warning.

FRANKFURT, Germany /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holding Corp. is announcing its next development in radar technology for 360° sensing around a vehicle, to enable multiple safety and convenience functions and further enhance driver safety. As a leader in advanced safety, TRW's intelligent or cognitive solutions are making the latest safety innovations accessible across all vehicle segments.

The new concept is a short-range scalable radar family that can enable functions including lane-change assist, blind-spot detection, cross-traffic alert, side-impact sensing, and low-speed collision warning. The sensors can also be integrated with the vehicle braking and electric power steering systems to provide limited emergency braking and traffic jam assist.

Martin Thoone, Vice President, Electronics Engineering at TRW, commented: "Our new radar concept is a landmark in Driver Assist Systems (DAS) technology—with a limited number of low-cost sensors independently reporting data to a central control unit, enabling a wide range of safety functions to be managed efficiently and intelligently.

"Despite significant improvements in the safety systems of modern vehicles, the number of road-related accidents remains unacceptably high. We need to look at next-generation active safety systems—developing lower cost sensors with multiple safety benefits such as our latest radar concept. It's our latest step in delivering 'the safety everyone deserves,' and we see a strong demand for this type of system."

TRW's new sensor concept is a compact, scalable radar solution that can be used for multiple applications, either singly or in groups. This is ideal for vehicle manufacturers who may wish to start with basic driver-assist functions but upgrade them in the future, or create a modular range of safety and convenience systems that can be offered across multiple vehicle models and trim levels. For example, a basic system could comprise a single forward-looking sensor for low-speed collision warning, a mid-level system could add a pair of rear-mounted radars for blind spot detection/lane-change assist, and a premium system could add additional sensors for traffic-jam assist or side-impact detection, or be used as part of an automatic parking solution.

Thoone continued: "There is increasing consumer interest in features such as blind-spot detection, lane-change assist, and side pre-crash systems, which can help to enhance safety, particularly when driving in city traffic and congested areas.

TRW expects that its new radar technology will be ready for production by 2015. The company has been developing radar technology for the passenger and truck markets for over a decade, with many successful launches worldwide.

Thoone added: "We are experiencing strong demand for our current 24 GHz, medium-range radar and scalable camera system and are now looking at the long-term future of DAS systems. 360° environmental sensing is the next step for safety, and our radar concept offers an intelligent solution to deliver this."

About TRW
With 2010 sales of $14.4 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, MI, the company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 26 countries and employs over 60,000 people worldwide. TRW Automotive products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems, and aftermarket replacement parts and services.

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