Some days, technology comes in the form of a new MP3 player or new GPU
. But new technologies might not always be directly related to a consumer product, but still have the potential to make a serious impact in our every day world. Panasonic has this week introduced an advanced radar technology for next-generation traffic safety systems that enables to detect humans and vehicles in a range of several tens of meters. This millimeter-wave radar technology allows for detecting objects outdoors in poor visibility conditions, such as night, rain and snow, as well as against the sunlight. When applied in traffic surveillance sensors located at intersections, this technology will help increase automotive safety by detecting pedestrians and bicycles hidden in the driver's blind spots.
In other words, it's a technology designed to save lives, and it's certainly worth paying attention to. Here's a bit about the new tech direct from Panasonic:
"As accidents at intersections account for about a half of all traffic fatalities, preventive measures are required to avoid collisions there involving cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Panasonic's new radar technology enables traffic monitoring sensors at intersections to detect pedestrians and bicycles up to 40 meters ahead even at nighttime and under bad weather conditions that hinder the driver's visibility. By alerting the driver of the presence of pedestrians in the crosswalk or bicycles in blind spots, this technology helps to reduce the driver's burden and traffic accidents.
Panasonic's new automotive radar technology has overcome the difficulties with conventional millimeter-wave radar technologies; the advanced radar technology is capable of detecting humans and cars simultaneously in spite of the fact that human body reflects extremely weak radar signals compared with car body. This innovative radar technology has also achieved high detection performance with a range resolution of less than 50cm and an angular resolution of 5 degrees, which enables to detect pedestrians and vehicles. Furthermore, unlike optical and infrared cameras and laser sensors, whose detection performance can be significantly affected by visibility conditions, this new radar technology will not be subject to such conditions as nighttime, rain, snow or dense fog."
A new iPad it's not, but it's just as impressive. Here's hoping for even more game-changing technologies to keep watch over us.