Continental has launched a new short-range radar which provides more precise detection of vehicle surroundings.

In place of the 24 Gigahertz (GHz) technology used up to now, the new radar generation operates using 77 GHz technology to detect the environment at a much higher resolution and level of accuracy.

Consequently, it is able to detect other road users and obstacles more precisely and also better detects movement directions and speeds.

Integration density has been further increased  and individual components, such as the antenna and the radio-frequency (RF) chip, are now housed in a smaller space, making the sensor more compact. This, of course, makes it easier to install in the vehicle.

One of the new radar sensors can be positioned at each of the four corners of the vehicle body to ensure almost seamless 360-degree monitoring of the vehicle surroundings. Radar systems such as this already form the basis for various advanced driver assistance systems employing sensors.

Continental said more functions can be provided thanks to the higher resolution and more precise detection.

These include Right-Turn Assist (left turn assist on RHD cars) which makes turning off safer and can, for example, detect a cyclist approaching from behind the vehicle on the near side. The system intervenes if the driver wants to turn when the cyclist is just about to pass along the side of the vehicle. Drivers are not always able to recognize this risky situation, even when they look over their shoulders. If the radar sensors detect a cyclist in such a situation, they transmit an appropriate signal to the brakes and the car stops before the car and cyclist collide.

Accident research shows such a turn assist system for passenger cars could help prevent 5% of all accidents in which cyclists are killed or seriously injured in Germany and 7% in Japan (8.5% of all accidents involving cyclist fatalities in the US) and a further 6% of accidents in which cyclists suffer minor injuries.

The installation of cornering assistance systems in trucks will be mandatory across the EU for all new vehicle types from 2020 onwards.

Continental claims, in Germany alone, 36% of all accidents in which a cyclist is killed could be prevented by installing Right-Turn Assist systems in trucks.

The new radar technology will also work with Emergency Steer Assist.