AutonomousConnected Vehicle

Japanese government stress upon widening radar frequencies for autonomous vehicles

Published: November 05, 2015 | Tokyo

Japan plans to work with the United States and European nations to explore the possibility of expanding a frequency band of millimeter-wave radar, a basic technology for self-driving vehicles, it was learned Saturday. A couple of months back, the government has also laid out plans to secure connected cars.

A wider frequency band is believed to improve the accuracy of automated driving, while a unified band adopted by Japan, the United States and European nations will enable automakers to use technologies in all of the nations without requiring region-specific modifications.


Japan has undertaken a joint public-private sector effort to put self-driving vehicles to practical use by 2020. Officials from the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry plan to discuss expanding a millimeter-wave radar frequency band with representatives from other countries at the International Telecommunication Union’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 being held in Geneva from Monday, informed sources said.

Mounted on self-driving vehicles, millimeter-wave radars are used to avoid collisions. In June, the ministry expanded the frequency band used to detect obstacles 100 to 200 meters ahead to 76-77 gigahertz, falling in step with the United States and Europe.

This time, participants will discuss widening the 77-81 gigahertz band, which can detect obstacles within 100 meters, the sources said. The United States and Europe have not implemented such an expansion.

A wider radar frequency band can accommodate increased volumes of data transmission, thereby boosting the sensitivity of radar equipment and their ability to detect obstacles.

The ministry also plans to expand the frequency band of 77.5 to 78 gigahertz, currently allocated to amateur radio services and those conducting astronomical observations, for use in self-driving vehicles as well.

Source: Japan Times


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