Uhnder, Inc., a digital imaging radar technologies company for automotive and logistics mobility applications, and Yunshan Technologies Ltd., a systems integrator of industrial and vehicle mmWave radar products and autonomous driving systems, have delivered a digital perception radar sensor solution for use in autonomous trucks operating in shipping ports. China Merchants Port (CMPort) is a recognized early technology adopter and is deploying digital perception radar in a fleet of autonomous trucks operating at its Mawan Smart Port in Shenzhen. The Mawan Smart Port is CMPort’s leading project site for the deployment of the latest intelligent port technologies.

“Smart port development is of key importance for CMPort,” said Wang Pei, CEO of China Merchants International Technology Limited, a subsidiary of CMPort specializing in port, terminal and logistics technology solutions that leads the Mawan Smart Port project. “We are deploying the newest digital radar sensing technologies in our fleet of autonomous trucks to enable efficient and safe operation, even in extremely challenging conditions due to rain, fog or dust.”

The Uhnder digital perception radar solution provides high-precision data to ensure an autonomous truck arrives in the correct position, to within 5 cm, for automated container movement between the ship and storage or departure areas. Uhnder’s digital perception radar technology enables a large number of co-located radars operating within the industrial port to co-exist reliably. This is a challenge that analog radar solutions have not been able to meet. Uhnder’s digital radar reduces cost of operations and increases safety, both of which are essential for ports to process an increasing number of containers efficiently.

Christopher Pan, CEO and founder of Yunshan, said, “We designed a perception strategy based on radar output and real-time moving target identification and classification for various bad weather and low-light conditions. For the first time, we truly achieved all-weather, all-condition operation of the vehicles, greatly improving efficiencies in the port environment.”

The Uhnder digital perception radar solution generates a rich 4D point cloud with the ability to detect and track thousands of objects. The Uhnder digital radar high contrast resolution capability enables perception solutions to clearly identify closely spaced objects common in the port setting, for example, a worker next to a container. The sensor solution uses a digital code modulation that results in best-in-class interference immunity performance.

MWJ talked with Uhnder for this release and the company noted that 12 radar units are typically used on each autonomous truck and are resistant to interference due to their CDMA inspired coded  modulation scheme. There are about 1018 code possibilities so the probability for interference is very low. In addition, their radar units have about 35 dB of high contrast resolution compared to current radar units that have much lower contrast resolution so these units can distinguish a person in front of a highly reflective, metal shipping container. Uhnder units also accomplish this using wider bandwidths, 1-2 GHz, versus current units with about 500 MHz of bandwidth. ROI on the Uhnder radar sensor systems in these types of logistics autonomy use cases is typically  measured in months.

Details of Uhnder's technology are cover in this technical article on Microwave Journal "Digital Code Modulation MIMO Radar Improves Automotive Safety."