Radar sensors are quickly becoming a part of many people’s daily commute to and from work. From Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) to Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) to Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), radar sensors are moving from luxury to economy models of consumer vehicles. There are now over a million of these sensors being produced annually. Because of this widespread automotive usage, medium- and heavy-duty industries are adopting radar sensors for their blind spot monitoring and collision avoidance needs, too.
Though great for cars, these sensors designed for the consumer automotive industry do not work as well on vehicles and equipment used in the more extreme environments commonly found in heavy-duty industries. Cars and pickup trucks are roughly the same size with known blind spots, while blind zones for construction equipment varies widely. Because of the size variability, a one size fits all approach does not work for medium- and heavy-duty industry safety. A sensor with the flexibility to vary with the blind spot detection area is needed.
In addition to being flexible, the sensors in the medium- and heavy-duty industries also need to take a beating compared to their automotive counterparts. Automobile sensors are protected from the environment because they are integrated into the vehicle design. In industries like construction, mining, and waste, the radar sensor is out in the elements, accepting anything and everything thrown at it. For example, pressure washing and rock fall are normal occurrences for the sensors mounted on construction equipment, while an automotive sensor will never see experience these issues.
Though some companies that run medium- and heavy-duty equipment are experimenting with automotive sensors, they are quickly realizing that a radar sensor designed for a consumer vehicle is not capable of handling the often extreme environments their equipment operates in. Instead, a radar that is capable of being both flexible and able to meet the extreme environmental requirements is the way to go.