Autonomous Vehicles, New Mobility & the Built Environment CES2023

The Hidden, Low-Cost Radar that Sees Near and Far

The sensor as part of the bumper, much the way skin on a human both protects and feels, is the concept behind what Plastic Omnium calls 4D Imaging radar. Developed in partnership with Greenerwave, Plastic Omnium’s approach promises greater resolution, at lower cost, while avoiding styling compromises often associated with traditional automobile sensors. Its solution provides perception (e.g., an object on the road) and analysis (e.g., bike) and feeds a higher-level sensor fusion system that decides a path forward (e.g., brake) and acts (sends a signal to brake).

What makes this unique compared to traditional radar is that Greenerwave and Plastic Omnium are:

  • Using the bumpers as the antennas provide a much greater surface area compared to devices that integrate the radar electronics and antennas,
  • Decoupling the radar electronics from the antennas with plastic waveguides,
  • Enhancing the low-cost, off-the-shelf electronics with Greenerwave-developed control and imaging algorithms.

The promised benefits are many and include:

  • 180° field of view with resolution below 0.5°.
  • Categorization of objects (e.g., bike, car, pedestrian, etc.).
  • It is multi-mode, meaning it can simultaneously see near and far.
  • It integrates easily into the vehicle’s electronic and mechanical systems.
  • Repair costs promise to be less as the electronics are separate from the bumper (e.g., a dinged-up bumper/antenna won’t affect the electronics, unlike traditional radar with antennas and electronics in one package).
  • Similarly, it promises robustness, as it will continue to work in a degraded mode (e.g., if one of the antennas is damaged).

Plastic Omnium estimates production will start in 2026. With 1 in 5 vehicles worldwide using their vehicle front ends, revenue approaching $10B Euro, and 150 plants in 28 countries, Plastic Omnium brings credibility to its prediction. With its primary focus on helping “premium automakers, robotaxis and self-driving heavy trucks” meet safety requirements, there is certainly a market for its offering.

(1) For more detail, see pages 4 to 6 of

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

Linked In Profile

One reply on “The Hidden, Low-Cost Radar that Sees Near and Far”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.