Infineon’s radar sensors can detect human movement in self-driving cars.

By Dean Takahashi

When self-driving cars hit the market, they will need to monitor the well-being of the “driver” and passengers in the car. Today, Infineon Technologies is announcing some sensors that can do just that using radar technology.

The radar can detect subtle movements from people in a car, including noticing children who may have been inadvertently left behind, drivers who are having a heart attack or some other emergency, and passengers who have simply fallen asleep in the car.

With this data, the intelligent car can send out emergency alerts or make adjustments, such as ensuring seat belts and emergency air bags are in the correct positions.

In-cabin monitoring systems

Carmakers refer to these as in-cabin monitoring systems (ICMS), and Infineon believes a 60GHz radar sensor is particularly promising for these applications. The company is unveiling its Xensiv 60GHz radar sensors and Aurixmicrocontrollers for ultra-short-range automotive applications.

These are new additions to the wide variety of products Infineon offers for an ultra-wideband, ultra-low power and cost-performance scalable architecture for ICMS subsystems. The devices support the use of new signal processing techniques and seek to enable a good balance between computational costs, the degree of information handled, and the system’s power consumption.

The Xensiv BGT60ATR24C radar sensor is a cognitive sensing solution with multiple transmit/receive for virtual array configurations, a highly agile modulation generation mechanism, and automatic power mode configurability, as well as simplified interfaces between RF and the processing side. The Aurix TC3xx microcontroller family touts strong performance with a powerful safety architecture. The family integrates a fast radar signal processing unit and enhanced security with the second generation of the hardware security module (HSM), which includes asymmetric cryptography accelerators.

Infineon has partnerships with Bitsensing, a South Korean imaging radar technology startup, and Caaresys, a startup based in Israel.