Radars have already been boosted in the automotive market because they offer popular ADAS features such as adaptive cruise control (ACC) and blind spot detection (BSD). Despite its almost ubiquitous presence in vehicles, a new IDTechEx report titled “Automotive Radar 2024-2044: Outlook, Technologies and Applications” finds that there is still significant growth potential for this sensor, driven mostly by new opportunities for short-range radars.
Analysis conducted in the new IDTechEx report found that nearly 70% of new vehicles in 2022 shipped with ACC or automatic emergency braking (AEB). These typically use a long-range, high-performance forward-facing radar. With 70% of the market already using forward-facing radar, there is little room for additional growth, but short-range radars for applications like BSD currently have much lower penetration. A new IDTechEx report titled “Automotive Radar 2024-2044: Forecasts, Technologies and Applications” finds that only about 30% of new vehicles in 2022 shipped with BSD systems. With the growing popularity of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as BSD, there is potential for the short-range radar market to more than triple in size over the coming years.
Not only will the short-range radar market grow through wider adoption of existing ADAS technologies such as BSD, but new technologies are emerging that require more radars per vehicle. Systems such as lane change assist, automatic pedestrian emergency braking, and others are state-of-the-art ADAS technology and can require full 360-degree radar coverage provided by at least four short-range radars. Known as a radar cocoon, this creates a comprehensive surveillance and protected area around the vehicle. The emergence of these technologies provides another huge growth opportunity for radar, with a much larger number of units per vehicle required.
Radar cocooning is also something IDTechEx has noted for vehicles targeting Level 3 autonomous driving approval. Level 3 means the driver can disengage from the task of driving and requires the vehicle’s comprehensive array of sensors to maintain diligent awareness of its surroundings. So far, the Honda Legend, Mercedes S-Class and EQS have been approved for Level 3 driving in some areas, and they all use quad-angle radars, creating a radar cocoon. BMW is currently working on Level 3 certification for the 7 Series and i7, and IDTechEx believes this means that Level 3 technologies will move towards mainstream adoption over the next decade or so, thus creating further growth in the short-range radar markets.
Number of sensors for different levels of autonomy. Source: IDTechEx
With one front radar and four side radars, five may seem like a lot of radars per vehicle. But this is small when compared to some of the robotaxis being tested. Robotaxis is designed for self-driving MaaS (mobility as a service), and will transport people with no one behind the wheel and likely without a licensed driver in the vehicle. As such, they need a very robust sensor array that can handle many different weather and lighting conditions and can also survive if one or more sensors fail. IDTechEx research has shown that these vehicles carry an average of more than ten radars each. While these vehicles will not dominate the radar market, they are just another example of how the automotive radar market can expect to see continued growth over the next two decades.
Although the IDTechEx report “Automotive Radar 2024-2044: Forecasts, Technologies and Applications” finds that short-range radars have the greatest growth potential, it also highlights the changing demands for forward-facing radars. With the advent of autonomous technologies, the performance requirements for forward-facing radar continue to increase, with greater range and better imaging capabilities being key requirements for future technologies.
Radar is already well-established in the automotive industry, with a market capitalization in 2022 of US$8 billion. However, with all the growth opportunities discussed here, IDTechEx expects continued and healthy growth in this market, with a 10-year CAGR of 6.9%. For more details on how this market is growing, along with upcoming technology changes and market forecasts, see the full report at www.IDTechEx.com/Radar. For the full range of related research available from IDTechEx, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research.
Upcoming free webinar – The Future of Automotive Radar
Dr. James Jeffs, Senior Technology Analyst at IDTechEx and author of this article, will be giving a free webinar on this topic Thursday, November 2, 2023 – The future of car radar.
This webinar explores some of the development approaches being explored to meet the ever-increasing requirements for radar. It covers software, semiconductor technologies, new semiconductor packaging options, systems architecture, and more.
Through this webinar, the viewer can expect to learn:
- Emerging requirements on radar from the development of autonomous vehicle technologies
- What is 4D imaging radar and why is it needed?
- What methods are available to create a 4D imaging radar
- How radar technologies and applications diverge
- Who are the leading suppliers in the field of 4D imaging radar?