Major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are developing vehicles with ever-increasing autonomy from human operators. The transition from Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 1 driver assistance platforms to Level 2 partial automation for parking and lane assistance will start to appear this year. Hardware and software designers of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) need to be ready for this transition.
The evolution of today’s parking assist technology (based on ultrasonic and camera sensors) to a more effective and cost-efficient automated parking system will benefit significantly from the addition of TI millimeter-wave (mmWave) radar sensors. To appreciate what is involved with the transition from a purely ultrasonic solution to a combined mmWave radar platform, let’s first review the basics of each technology.
The operational scenario modes for parking a car remain the same despite the technology; namely, search and park. In search mode, the car “looks” for and identifies a suitable parking spot. The autoparking mode then maneuvers the vehicle into the identified parking spot. In both automated parking modes, the expected measurement accuracy is up to 40 m for search mode, and near 0 to 20 m in parking mode.
Meeting this resolution accuracy is just one reason why a combination of ultrasonic, radar and camera sensors are necessary in order to determine range, speed and angle parameters for fully autonomous parking. All of these sensor types provide complementary but different views of their surroundings.