Artificial Intelligence

Imaging radar brings cognitive sensing to autonomous vehicles

8th January 2020
Lanna Deamer

The high performance radar platform company for the Autonomous Age, Echodyne has announced a breakthrough imaging radar for autonomous vehicles. EchoDrive is built on proven MESA technology and offers a new type of sensor functionality that significantly enhances machine perception. Echodyne will be holding private meetings to introduce EchoDrive to the AV industry in Las Vegas during the 2020 CES show, taking place 7th-10th January.

EchoDrive delivers unprecedented real time control over the radar’s interrogation of the drive scene, enabling a richer form of machine perception. The radar’s dynamic control API leverages knowledge in the AV stack, such as HD maps, V2X, and other sensor data, to optimise measurement moment by moment through ever-changing environments, conditions, and scenarios.

For example, EchoDrive can smoothly transition from normal drive scene to work zone heightened awareness, increase frame rate to secure an unprotected left turn, or zoom in on a tunnel approach. This dynamic tasking of a high performance analogue beam-steering radar significantly enhances safety by elevating the cognitive functions of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in the AV stack.

“Today, AV stacks have a one-way flow of data where sensors deliver information and the AV system processes it and takes action,” said Eben Frankenberg, CEO of Echodyne. “What is missing is a dynamic, interactive flow of data that makes cognitive functions possible in the AV stack. With EchoDrive, the AV system can direct the radar to interrogate specific objects to gain clarity on the driving scene for more confident AV decision making. We look forward to helping companies across the AV spectrum design, build, and deliver safer vehicles by using Echodyne’s EchoDrive radar.”

With proven success building and delivering high performance radars for a range of defense, government, aeronautic, and commercial applications, Echodyne is extending its radar platform technology to help automotive manufacturers build and deliver safer autonomous trucks, buses, and shared mobility passenger vehicles.

Among its advanced AV imaging radar features, EchoDrive offers:

  • High resolution imaging in both azimuth and elevation
  • Road following through active beam-steering
  • Seamless adaptation to changing drive scenes
  • Rich raw unfiltered data
  • Dynamic control API delivering industry-first cognitive sensor functionality.

“EchoDrive is a huge leap forward in imaging radar for AV,” said Tom Driscoll, CTO of Echodyne. “We’re delivering a sensor that, for the first time, brings cognitive sensor capabilities to the AV industry. Built on a combination of Texas Instruments millimeter wave (TI mmWave) sensors, our own proprietary MESA technology, and a powerful software framework, our adaptive radar sensor improves all aspects of the AV architecture.”

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