January 3, 2008

Radar is positioned to lead in active safety developments, research shows

New York, New York – A new study by ABI Research suggests that radar sensors will be the key technology over the next five years in automotive active safety systems. The study says that passive safety benefits have been optimized, and that the automotive industry is looking to active safety systems for the next reduction in road injuries and fatalities.

Many studies have shown that leaving the road, making a lane change without checking blind spots and running into the back of another vehicle are major causes of traffic collisions. A new generation of driver assistance systems is designed to watch the road and other road users, and warn the driver if anything potentially dangerous is about to happen. Some systems can also take action to help the driver.

“All the latest driver assistance systems use some form of obstacle detection technology to constantly monitor what is going on around the vehicle,” said David Alexander, ABI Research principal analyst. “Ultrasonics, radar, lidar and cameras all play a role in currently available technology, but we see some trends emerging that indicate a shift towards radar sensors as the key technology over the next five years. We see significant growth in this market over the next five years, and as volumes grow, the component costs are going to decline significantly. The migration from luxury to mainstream vehicles will be accompanied by a trend towards multiple functions, for greater added value to the end consumer.”

The study examined the growing availability of driver assistance systems such as blind spot detection, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. As well, while ultrasonics remains the technology of choice for parking assistance, the study suggests that radar and camera technology may replace it as the radar systems become less expensive and more powerful.

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