By concentrating development on 5.8 GHz component technology, Cambridge Consultants Ltd. (CCL) claims a breakthrough in radar safety systems for automobiles, with the potential to make sophisticated reversing and anti-collision safety aids an affordable accessory for the mass market.

The company tags its CCL-Softcar anti-collision technology as smart, because of a unique sensing approach that makes it possible to accurately distinguish and track multiple objects, with just one module being required to implement rear, side or front view safety.

By using a software-centric system and broad-beam antennas, what has been created is a single, standalone radar module providing a complete solution, yet measuring just 8 x 12 cm and offering an angular resolution of less than 2°.

Instead of focusing on a limited field of view, the antennas are all broad beam, and are programmed in software to provide the desired horizontal and vertical coverage.

By simply changing the mathematical 'filter' applied to echo reception, the field of view changes. This allows the radar to adapt in real-time as the steering wheels change direction. Just four radar modules and one electronic control unit (ECU) are required to provide 360° protection.