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Thursday, 3rd May 2012
In Business In Japan,

Panasonic unveils traffic safety radar technology

A new in-car 'radar' developed by the Japanese technology giant Panasonic could be about to revolutionise traffic safety systems by allowing drivers to detect people, vehicles and other obstacles to pin-point accuracy.

Known as 'millimetre-wave radar technology', the system uses a technique called 'coded pulse modulation' and Panasonic says that it is dramatically more accurate that similar systems that rely on sensors or cameras.

Developed with support from the ministry of internal affairs and communications in Japan, it is hoped that the technology could increase road safety by allowing drivers to detect pedestrians or cyclists hidden in their blind spot.

Traditional methods cannot detect people because they do not reflect a strong enough radar signal, but Panasonic claims that its new technology can spot pedestrians up to 40 metres away.

According to the company, the radar is particularly useful at traffic intersections, where safety is notoriously important.

Around half of all road traffic fatalities occur at intersections, so a preventive technology that could reduce the number of collisions in these situations would be highly advantageous and Panasonic believes it has come up with the answer.

Unlike other technologies, millimetre-wave radar also works at night and during bad weather and visibility, while it can also detect objects at a much finer angle than other systems, thereby increasing the field of use and further improving its reliability.

"By alerting the driver of the presence of pedestrians in the crosswalk or bicycles in blind spots, this technology helps to reduce the driver's burden and traffic accidents," Panasonic said in a statement.

The new technology is now set to be demonstrated at the Vehicular Technology Conference in Yokohama between May 7th and 9th.

Panasonic has also recently begun testing a 'head care robot' which uses sensors to measure a person's head before applying warm water and shampoo then washing their hair with 24 mechanical fingertips. It is currently being trialled at a salon in the Hyogo prefecture.

Written by Mark Smith



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