Hardware Innovations for Radar Technologies

Project AI-Radar

AI-powered radar solution for safe autonomous driving

Come snow, rain, heat, or gloom of night - autonomous vehicles have to be safe on the road and work in every weather. In addition, they must be able to navigate routes with little traffic and few turns just as well as busy roads in urban areas. In order to detect potential obstacles and hazards, even those coming from the side, at an early stage, sensors are needed that enable 360° monitoring all around the vehicle. This requires extremely powerful and coordinated software and hardware components.

AI radar for autonomous vehicles

The AI Radar consortium is developing a highly miniaturized multi-sensor module and AI algorithms that increase the spatial resolution for autonomous vehicles and enable early hazard identification and analysis.

The innovative compression mold approach enables high integration density while remaining cost-effective, with flexible circuit carriers/ foils back-molded with high filled epoxy resins (molding compounds).

SMD-mountable 3D MIMO antennas increase the detection range of the integrated radar system. They are based on 3D-structured substrates, with a geometry precision-made at Fraunhofer IZM.

The radar, GPS, and optical data is processed by AI and takes place directly in the sensor module or in a network of sensor modules (cognitive edge computing).

  • Efficient use of resources for the volume of data to be transmitted
  • Reduced latency
  • Increased robustness and reliability of the sensor technology

The sensors can be mounted in almost any place on the vehicle, as there is no need to account for a spatial integration of optical and radar sensor technology.

Targets for the radar hardware

  • Angular resolution of azimuth ±90° with a new 3D antenna design with 79 GHz
  • Antenna gain of 12dBi by focusing in elevation
  • Angular resolution < 1° by merging the DBF data from multiple individual sensors

Target innovations

  • 3D deformation process for free-form 3D MIMO antennas by means of molding technology.

Advantages of AI radar modules

  • 360° all-round coverage
  • Highly reliable sensor technology
  • Increased safety for driver assistance systems

Other areas of application

  • Robotics
  • Drones
  • Other mobile applications

Possible applications

  • Safety, traffic monitoring and collision
  • avoidance in manufacturing
  • Smart homes

News / 2.8.2023

Radar systems with a new design and AI support

The combined radar expertise of Fraunhofer IZM is making the sensors needed for self-driving cars not just cheaper, but more reliable and accurate at the same time. The researchers joined a group of industry partners to design a radar system with an angular resolution of below one degree at 180° coverage.


Working Group

Radar Frontends & Modules

We focus on the optimized design and characterization of RF/millimeter-wave radar modules using the M3 approach (methods, models, measures).


Working Group

Assembly and Encapsulation

We research integration technologies for system-in-package products, focusing in particular on device assembly for highly integrated packages and encapsulation and coating processes based on polymeric materials.