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TechCrunch: Radar Sensors and AI drive innovation in the fast-moving automotive industry

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Read the full article on techcrunch.com Radar Sensors and AI drive innovation in the fast-moving automotive industry

by Metawave CEO, Maha Achour, PhD.


As the automotive industry advances towards autonomous driving, several safety concerns must be addressed before full autonomy can be reached. Leading car makers are already taking steps to address these concerns, deploying advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automated braking in today’s cars.


Many of the tough problems, however, simply cannot be solved using only today’s sensors and existing digital radar. By leveraging a new kind of advanced analog beam-steering, high-resolution, long-range radar, automakers will find tremendous value today, giving them the technology to deploy existing and next-generation automotive features.


With its groundbreaking beamsteering capabilities, Metawave has two offerings to support the safe and effective advancement of highly automated driving: advanced analog radar sensors and innovative artificial intelligence (AI).


Evidence shows that the “owner economy” is fading, and younger generations are thinking about transportation and mobility in new ways. Statistics show that younger generations don’t want to learn how to drive or own their own car. And, research shows a continuous decrease in the percentage of people ages 16-44 with driver’s licenses.



On the road to autonomy: Sensors are in the driver’s seat

Cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and today’s digital radar can almost get us to autonomous driving. These sensors, working with modern computer vision algorithms, are sufficient for today’s basic driving challenges. Clearing the remaining hurdles will be critical to ensuring the highest levels of repeatable and dependable safety, as well as gaining long-term community acceptance.


Metawave’s analog and digitally perfected radar platform provides the ability to deliver highly automated driving, and deploy advanced features including left turn assist, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam pilot, and highway pilot. Automakers are advancing the industry today with their ability to deploy these safety features while a human still sits behind the wheel.


Interpreting the world with AI and machine learning

AI is a critical piece in the pending autonomous driving market. Markets and Markets recently forecasted that the automotive AI market will reach $10.5 billion by 2025. Metawave’s proprietary AI has the ability to detect and classify objects with its radar sensor. Its radar is capable of capturing detailed shapes for classifying objects and measuring the velocity of the things it detects. By analyzing the micro-motions of objects, Metawave’s AI is able to perform high-precision classification even when the target is very far away or too small to be resolved using today’s digital radar or other sensors. For self-driving vehicles to successfully navigate unpredictable roads in all weather conditions at high speeds, long-range object classification is indispensable.

The new normal: Increasing levels of automated driving create comfort regarding safety

Fully autonomous driving won’t gain acceptance until communities feel safe and secure, not only for passengers but, other drivers on the road and even pedestrians. The industry has to balance being innovative and careful, while taking critical steps to expand operational design for higher levels of autonomy. As the sensors and algorithms required to unlock full autonomy become more ubiquitous, self-driving cars will become ingrained in our society as a new way of life, step by step. Until then, there is a lot to demonstrate, test, and learn using advanced sensors, systems, and AI.


### Metawave is applying its innovative beamsteering and AI technology to solve problems in two large industries: building a new kind of automotive radar platform using advanced analog and offering 5G active and passive reflect arrays to greatly increase the efficiency of 5G millimeter wave communications. Learn more about Metawave’s automotive radar: click <here> for our Beamsteering Radar white paper.

Maha Achour, PhD., founder and CEO, Metawave; MIT Theoretical Physics; global thinker on the topic of millimeter wave, and the future of autonomous driving and wireless communications.

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