Boston-based robotics company and a leader in smart following technology, Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), has developed a new sensor technology to support scooters and motorcycles, besides implementing in consumer and business robots.
The company said the robots incorporating the radar technology would be released end of this calendar, with Piaggio Group motorcycle models equipped with the PFF sensor module launching in 2022.
According to PFF, the company has previously focused on advancing innovation in smart following technology and smart behaviour implementation in robots and machines. Based on a strategic decision taken last year, the company began developing a custom radar sensor module for use first in Piaggio Group motorcycles and scooters to provide the technology to other companies in the future.
The modules offer improved safety by providing robust monitoring in all environmental and lighting conditions. The company said it awarded a supply contract for the modules' Radar-on-Chip to Vayyar Imaging, marking 4D imaging radar-based motorcycle safety platform deployment.
The complete sensor package is developed, built and supplied by PFF for mass production in Piaggio Group motorcycles' Advanced Rider Assistance Systems (ARAS).
ARAS applications are on the front line of the battle to prevent collisions and protect motorcycle riders. The technology meets the rigorous technical requirements of traditional driver-assist functions, addressing additional motorcycle-specific challenges such as size constraints and seamless vehicle manoeuvrability at high-tilt angles.
The PFF modules use Vayyar's mmWave 4D imaging Radar-on-Chip (RoC) sensor, enabling multiple ARAS functions such as Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA) and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with a single sensor supporting a range of over 100m, and an ultra-wide field-of-view.
Greg Lynn, CEO, PFF, said the company is creating advanced technology products for robots and motorcycles that detect and measure objects in the surroundings to provide the information required for mapping, object detection, and control, regardless of lighting, weather and other environmental factors. Therefore, the company choose to develop its sensing applications with Vayyar's 4D imaging radar technology.
The Vayyar 4D imaging radar technology being used in its robots and sensing modules developed for the motorcycle industry supports a large Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) array that enables ultra-high resolution point cloud imaging for holistic monitoring of a robot's and a vehicle's surroundings. This high-performance sensor incorporates sophisticated single-chip 4D imaging radar technology, featuring an ultra-wide field of view (both in azimuth and elevation) with no dead zones, detecting and tracking multiple targets. In addition, its small form factor is engineered to address the unique challenges of motorcycle and robotics design.
Ilan Hayat, Director, Business Development, Vayyar Imaging, said, 'Motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable road users, and this is a big step forward in reducing their risk of collision. Regardless of vehicle type, rider safety should not be compromised, and by partnering with PFF, we are thrilled to deliver an automotive standard of safety to motorcycles.'