Helping Cars See Dangers That Humans Can't


Helping Cars See Dangers That Humans Can’t

Imagine this. You are driving through a dark tunnel on a stormy night with the glare from rain and headlights making it difficult to see. What if your car could see for you and detect a motorcyclist who’s waiting out the rain on the side of the road in the tunnel? Well, the good news is that the mobility tech company, Magna, is the first company to design a digital radar technology that can do just that.
ICON Radar offers drivers an added layer of safety and security on the road. Your car might already have sensors that flash in your rearview mirror when a car is in your blind spot, or that beep when someone passes behind you in a parking lot. ICON Radar takes this kind of vehicle-sensing technology to a whole new level. It can scan a car’s environment 50 times faster than the blink of a human eye. And because it’s digital, the signal is sure to be strong and reliable — such as cell phones when they shifted from using analog signals to digital ones.
A vehicle with ICON Radar can actually scan the environment around your vehicle in four dimensions: distance, height, depth and speed. That helps it see objects such as a shredded tire on the road ahead of you, or that motorcyclist hiding from the rain in that dark tunnel. When obstacles are detected, drivers get an alert so they can take evasive action and safely steer clear of the danger.
This technology can detect an object just 12 inches high from 164 feet away, a pedestrian more than a football field length down the road and another car ahead of you from more than three football fields away.
It can also separate objects and detect if a person or bicyclist is next to a guardrail or a motorcycle in between two semi-trucks.
We can all use some help staying safe on the roads. Magna is bringing new technology to the road to do just that as we head down the path toward full autonomy.