Passive Roadside Reflectors and Communication Systems for Improvement of Radar Reliability

Principal Investigator(s):

Rajesh Rajamani, Professor, Chair, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Forward-looking radar sensors are critical elements in automated highway systems as well as in adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems. Improving the reliability of radar measurements remains a key challenge that must be addressed in order to realize the potential of intelligent transportation systems. Two of the major problems experienced with radar sensors are "target confusion" and "target drop-out" on curves and on uphill and downhill grades. This project addresses these problems through the use of inexpensive roadside infrastructure to provide a reliable solution. Two alternate types of roadside systems are evaluated in this project: 1) Passive roadside reflectors that appropriately reflect radar and allow the radar to "see around curves"; and, 2) Roadway vehicle positioning systems and roadside beacons that provide an alternate (back-up) solution to the same problem. The solutions developed in this project can also potentially be used in the future to provide solutions to other problems experienced with radar sensors including a) Target confusion while tracking multiple targets that have cross-over maneuvers; b) Target tracking in a dynamically changing environment where the number of targets keep changing due to cut-ins, vehicles merging, entering, leaving, etc.

Project details:

  • Project number: 2005079
  • Start date: 06/2004
  • Project status: Completed
  • Research area: Transportation Safety and Traffic Flow