Car radars gain sharper vision after ITU assigns special spectrum slice

Your roving eye will find prettier targets in the 79 GHz band

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has allocated the 79 GHz spectrum for use in motor vehicle applications.

The decision, announced at the World Radiocommunication Conference, sets aside the spectrum on a global basis for use in collision-avoidance radar.

Auto-makers, particularly those who make luxury models, already use radar for things like parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and the like, but the 24 GHz spectrum currently in use is a narrowband allocation.

Davide Brizzolara (of road safety collaboration ERTICO – ITS Europe) explains here that the 4 GHz available in the 79 GHz spectrum, combined with higher power limits, will support better resolution.

That in turn will improve systems' ability to identify pedestrians and other objects for emergency braking.

Brizzolara writes that the extra resolution is important: in the 24 GHz band, multiple objects are seen as one, and that makes it hard for an autonomous vehicle system to make the right decisions.

Devices operating at 79 GHz are also one-third the size of 24 GHz devices. ®

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