High-resolution 4D radar technology has unleashed a new dimension to conventional radars, contributing to the acceleration of autonomous vehicles deployment. The successful operation of autonomous vehicles requires redundant data from different sensors that could be interpreted and acted upon. Every single bit of information in the vicinity of a vehicle is crucial for safer driving. The advent of 4D imaging radar has further enhanced the autonomous driving capability with its feature of providing not only the speed, velocity, and distance measurement but also the HD images of the surrounding. The technology offers time-of-flight detection of obstacles even in extreme conditions. Besides, the high-resolution imaging radar provides detailed image in wider FOV by detecting smaller or profile objects including pedestrians and bikes and delivers the vehicle with the real-time data on speed and direction of the moving objects. This technology also pinpoints the location of the object enabling mapping & localization for autonomous cars offering both radar and LiDAR capabilities at the same time.
The cost of the sensor is the major factor considered in the AV industry as it will add to the overall vehicle cost. Compared to LiDAR, the high-resolution imaging radar is quite cost-effective and is considered as the only sensor that can operate and perform with 100% efficiency all the time. Also, the mass production is expected to be around 2021 which is projected to further reduce the sensor cost.
Radar systems has evolved rapidly with the major push from self-driving industry. This sensor is considered inevitable in each level of autonomous driving; hence, the advancement in radar has gained momentum in this space. Around 10 to 12 companies are full-fledged working on high-resolution imaging radar technology, however more start-ups are expected to enter in this market with more advancement in the technology. Arbe Robotics, Vayyar Imaging, Ainstein, Oculi, and RFIsee are few of the players who have marked their place amongst the leaders in this technology. And the newly entrants include Cognitive Pilot, and Steradian Semiconductors. Moreover, the technology has grabbed investor’s attention recently and multiple strategic investments and partnerships have been recorded for imaging radar technology. For instance, Arbe Robotics have received funding of $9 million, Oculii has raised $14.3 million in last five years, Vayyar imaging has announced investment of $45 million in its latest funding round. While there has been lot of talks on 4D radar technology, the development on 5D imaging radar has already began. For instance, Aeres EM has developed 5D imaging radar for AVs with finest resolution and ultra HD capability. The technology is projected to grow at a high pace making self-driving achievable soon.