Project HiPIR – High-Performance Imaging Radar for Highly Automated Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles use a range of sensors to feed data to the perception system – typically radar, lidar and cameras.  Lidars, due to their high resolution, are heavily relied upon but suffer from loss of performance as weather conditions deteriorate.  Radar is more robust and less prone to effects of weather, and more cost effective, but reduced resolution limits usage.

The vision of the project and project lead, AptCore Limited, is to develop a High-Performance Imaging Radar compliant to automotive standards, that reduces reliance on lidar, removing the need for it altogether in some cases.  This requires the ultimate in performance from front end antenna and analogue design which fall under Cambridge Sensoriis’ expertise as well as Plextek Services Ltd, another supporting project partner.

It also requires a step up in the digital signal processing performance which will require producing an even higher performance variant of AptCore’s radar processor design and moving it to a new silicon implementation using Garfield Microelectronics Ltd’s expertise to facilitate further performance improvements and reduce system cost.  The backend software also uses artificial intelligence to better identify and recognise detected objects.

The objectives are the project are therefore to:

  • Develop the High-Performance Imaging Radar
  • Test and demonstrate the system
  • Provide a prototype to customer(s)
  • Promote the system widely to organisations developing Autonomous Systems
  • Ensure the system is designed and manufactured such that the necessary compliance and robustness are achieved at an attractive price
  • Ensure the system and technologies can be sold to other markets in which the partners operate

Together the partners will deliver this world leading product, which will be manufactured in the UK, and will benefit the UK and global CAM markets and bring significant benefits to the UK economy.

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