DENSO Corp of Kariya, Aichi prefecture, Japan has developed a 24GHz submillimeter-wave rear and side radar sensor to help enhance vehicle safety systems. Using a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) fabricated by specialty foundry TowerJazz, the sensor is used in the 2018 Toyota Camry launched in July.
The sensor is built into the rear bumper of the vehicle to detect other vehicles likely to enter the driver’s blind spot to the rear and side, as well as vehicles approaching from the rear on the left and right when reversing. The sensor is part of a larger system that helps drivers identify and navigate around other vehicles when changing lanes or reversing out of a parking space, and controls the autonomous emergency braking function to avoid imminent collisions.
To enable accurate detection whether moving forward or reversing, a phase shifter switches the sensing direction and range of the submillimeter-wave radar sensor. Radio wave transmission and receiving, and phase shifter functions also run through separate integrated circuits to reduce the size of the sensor.
DENSO says that in 2003 it became the first company to develop and commercialize an electronically scanning in-vehicle millimeter-wave radar sensor, which utilized digital beamforming.