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ARTRAC: Document on User Needs and Requirements finalised

ARTRAC has produced its first Deliverable: User Needs and Requirements for VRU protecting systems based on multipurpose narrow-band radar, which is now available from the Documents section of the ARTRAC website. 

The objective of this document is to develop the functional specifications of a system which is simple enough but nevertheless effective to be implemented into passenger cars of the volume market segment. Developing such a system available for the volume segment (especially compact cars) will improve safety for many VRUs on European roads.

This document presents a high number of references for research undertaken in the area, especially in highly developed industrial countries, though by its nature this list is not exhaustive by far. Apart from this bibliography it is really helpful to describe actuators available to understand their physical details and ways of operation. The full range of actuators currently under discussion will be described from a technical perspective and subsequently briefly discussed as to their suitability for VRU protection systems. Measures for VRU protection might be divided into passive and active systems. Because of basic physical properties, passive measures can provide limited protection potential only. Therefore (active) actuators are helpful to achieve the desired protection for VRUs. For example, vehicle deceleration seems to be a potential approach for active VRU protection with high benefit and high potential to become a product in high volume series cars, as they are already in use in high-end limousines.

The actuators can be categorised into reversible and non-reversible protection measures. Current sensor systems for pre-crash applications or driver assistance system in general (e. g. cameras with image processing and radar sensors) have quite high performance, but the requirements in this field are much higher. Consequently, the current sensors, which do not have a 100%-fault safe stage, are only applicable for reversible protection systems. The focus in this ARTRAC project will be on automatic deceleration, steering recommendation as well as driver warning.

The environmental sensing will be conducted with a novel high performance but low-cost 24 GHz narrow-band radar system. From an operational viewpoint, this RF frequency fits exactly into the existing ISM band from 24,000 GHz to 24,250 GHz. As this is a free frequency band, no special approval is needed meaning that no limitations in time nor market penetration rate or operating permission in the neighbourhood of radio astronomy stations apply. Due to this techno-political feature this radar has a long term perspective on European and world-wide markets.

The whole system consisting of radar sensor, sensor fusion, risk assessment and vehicle control has a high potential to be launched in serial cars because the majority of components is already standard equipment in series cars. The additional equipment required should not be a show-stopper from a pure technical point of view. This is the reason why the ARTRAC consortium is convinced that the ARTRAC research activity is a necessary step towards modern VRU safety.