Occupant safety and the increasing appeal of autonomous automobiles are the driving forces behind the rapidly growing need for smart electronic systems based on the latest semiconductor, microsystem and nanoelectronics technologies. The Car2TERA project will focus of two areas of research and development: in-cabin radar and onboard, high speed data communications. To address the in-car radar needs, which is currently the fastest growing car sensor market, Car2TERA will exploit the benefits of sub-terahertz (150-330 GHz) communication. This emerging sub-terahertz frequency has been proven to perform efficiently and with enough bandwidth to satisfy the high resolution demands of in-vehicle radar communications. Car2TERA scientific partners will build a prototype automotive radar for testing. In addition to developing in cabin sensing, the Car2TERA partners will develop nascent methods of data communication using plastic fiber rather than the traditional glass construction. These communications will be necessary in the near future to facilitate 5G communications and the IoT. These short-distance, high data-rate THz-over plastic technologies will be demonstrated by project end to illustrate their capability, efficiency and cost effectiveness. Car2TERA will implement Technology Readiness Level 4 in both demonstrators The project runs for 39 months and receives funding from the European Union under the grant agreement number 824962.
With European car module manufacturers holding a market share of 79% on car radars, and European semiconductor manufacturers 90% on SiGe car-radar chip sets, Car2TERA aims at extending Europe’s success story on advanced, smart electronic sensor systems into the sub-THz frequency spectrum and into new emerging applications. The proposed short-range, sub-THz frequency radar technology will also enable new, emerging applications such as in-cabin sensing and significantly improve outdoor sensing including road condition monitoring as essential new features towards the assisted and automated driving and improved road safety.