ITU advances work on harmonized 79 GHz frequency band for in-vehicle radar systems

Work within ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) is helping advance global agreement on 79 GHz as the worldwide harmonized frequency band for automotive radar.

This week, ITU partnered with the 79 GHz Consortium to host a workshop demonstrating the progress made over the past year in developing short-range high-resolution automotive radar systems in the 79 GHz frequency band. New in-vehicle radar systems will greatly contribute to increased transport efficiencies and road safety.

The workshop was held within the framework of preparations for the ITU World Radiocommunication Conference, which next takes place in 2015. That global treaty-making conference will consider allocation of the 77.5-78 GHz frequency band to the radio location service.

During the workshop, a live demonstration of short-image high-resolution automotive radar systems using the 79 GHz frequency was provided by car manufacturers Audi and Daimler-Benz, much to the excitement and enjoyment of onlookers.

In its continuous quest to improve levels of road safety and transport efficiency, the frequency range 77 GHz to 81 GHz was defined by the European Commission in 2004 as the frequency allocation for Automotive Short Range Radar (SRR). To address the bandwidth requirements for future automotive radar-based safety and comfort functions – such as pedestrian protection, narrow pass assistance, evasion maneuver guidance, side impact or proximity warning – the 79 GHz Consortium was launched in July 2011 to establish and speed up a worldwide harmonized frequency allocation in the 77 GHz to 81 GHz frequency range.

The Project complements ITU’s decision to set up a Joint Automotive Radio Regulations-Radio Frequencies Working Group on overall frequency matters. This joint working group – part of  ITU-R Study Group 5 – will work collaboratively with the automotive industry to support and drive harmonized automotive frequency regulations worldwide.

Sustainable, worldwide deployment and economical proliferation and growth are only possible if the main precondition – globally available and harmonized frequency bands – is respected and fulfilled. ITU’s work will provide industry and policy-makers with a solid and predictable environment that will give them the confidence to develop 79 GHz vehicular radar applications that will find a worldwide market.

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