Right-turn assistant protects cyclists

June 25, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Right-turn assistant protects cyclists
It is a standard situation in the encounter between cars and cyclists, and it still ends far too often fatally: A large part of the serious accidents of cyclists happens when the motorized road user turns off. Continental has now developed a radar that, as a core component of an assistance system, is designed to prevent such accidents.

With the introduction of a new short-range radar, Continental is taking a further development step toward even more precise detection of the vehicle environment. Instead of the 24 (GHz) technology previously used, the technology company's new radar generation operates at 77 GHz. As a result, the radar sensor detects the environment with a significantly higher resolution and selectivity than before. This allows other road users or obstacles to be detected more accurately. In addition, the 77 GHz sensor also detects directions of movement and speeds more precisely than was possible in the 24 GHz range previously used.

The new radar generation also increases the integration density. As a result, the individual components of the system, such as the antenna and RF chip, can now be accommodated in less space, making the sensor even more compact. And this in turn facilitates installation in the vehicle even where space is at a premium.

Four of the new radar sensors can be positioned at each of the four corners of the vehicle body for virtually complete 360-degree environmental monitoring of the vehicle. Already today, such radar systems form the sensoric basis for various driver assistance systems, such as the detection of the blind spot diagonally to the right and left of the vehicle, the detection of the surroundings for the lane change assistant, the observation of cross and intersection traffic for the intersection or emergency brake assistant as well as the monitoring of the area behind the vehicle for a safe exit.

This prevents, for example, the door from opening if another vehicle or cyclist approaches from behind. Thanks to the significantly higher resolution and more precise detection of the new radar generation, even more functions can now be implemented. For example, the right-turn assistant for passenger cars, which increases safety when turning off and provides support for the driver, especially in confusing situations in city traffic. The new generation of radar sensors can detect a cyclist approaching the vehicle from the rear right. If the driver wants to turn right while the cyclist is driving past the right-hand side of the vehicle, the right-turn assistant intervenes. For motorists, this risky situation is not always visible, even if they look back their shoulders. If the radar sensors detect the cyclist in such a case, they send a corresponding signal directly to the brake and the car stops - before it collides with the cyclist. Of course, this safety function also protects pedestrians and scooter drivers.

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