Cruise control - even in traffic
"We can drive from Amsterdam to Rotterdam in the rush hour, and we can do it without touching either the accelerator or the brakes!" says Peter Hendrickx, coordinator of the DenseTraffic project, speaking about the new RoadEye radar sensor the project has developed.
Second-generation adaptive cruise control
The RoadEye radar sensor is a vital component in the new second generation of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) systems for vehicles. Unlike the ACC fitted to several upmarket cars today, the coming second generation systems need to be able to handle very low speeds and dense traffic (hence the project name) where vehicles may be typically only 15-16 metres apart.
These 2nd generation ACC systems will be able to stay in control of a vehicles engine and brakes at speeds of anything between zero and 250 kilometres per hour, in a straight line and in road bends of much tighter radius than before, and handle the situation of vehicles cutting in front of you. They can even cope with traffic coming completely to a halt and starting off again, a situation typical of todays congested roads.
Working prototype shown to car makers
What makes these capabilities possible is the RoadEye sensor developed within this IST programme funded project, which finished in December 2003. RoadEye is a new multi-beam radar sensor with a more sophisticated antenna system, a wider angle of view (hence the abilities with road bends), and an IC architecture optimised for low-cost production.
The DenseTraffic project partners have fitted a working RoadEye prototype into a demonstration vehicle to show the systems capabilities. Hendrickx is justifiably proud of the project results. "So far no other radar sensor has been able to do what RoadEye can do."
An Audi S8 fitted with the unit has been exhibited to most of the major European car-makers, as well as to companies involved in vehicle systems development. While visiting the US, the project partners even fitted a RoadEye unit into a Mercedes S Class vehicle in place of the standard sensor, to show how the ACC system could be improved.
Groeneveld is now actively marketing the RoadEye radar sensor to vehicle manufacturers and systems developers around the world. The company is also researching how to develop a turnkey ACC package capable of meeting the needs of customers that require a complete system.
Groeneveld Groep B.V.
PO Box 777
4200 AT Gorinchem
Source: Based on information from DenseTraffic
Tara Morris | IST Results
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