Magna’s New Military-Derived Icon Radar Scans The Road In Four Dimensions

Automotive supplier Magna International has just unveiled its advanced Icon Radar at the Detroit Auto Show 2018, claiming that it sets a new standard for high-resolution automotive radars.

Co-developed with technology startup Uhnder, the military-derived Icon Radar system aims to “help close the gap between level 3 and level 5 to reach full reliable autonomous driving.”

Magna’s radar continuously scans the environment in four dimensions (distance, height, depth, and speed) at ranges of more than 1,000 feet or 300 meters. Icon Radar can then detect and track almost 100 times more objects than other radar systems and individually classify each and every one of them. Additionally, the system detects objects including guard rails, road debris, and speed bumps, as well as the likes of other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and pets.

The company claims that having a radar system that can distinguish objects like children and cyclists in close proximity to large objects, such as vehicles, is critically important to the enhancement of safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking.

Speaking about the radar, Magna chief technology officer Swamy Kotagiri said it scans the environment 50 times faster than the time it takes a human to blink an eye.

“Magna has identified some of the world’s most advanced technologies and ‘auto-qualified’ them for use in the auto industry. Our ICON RADAR takes the best of military technology and improves on it for automotive use – taking a significant step forward toward full autonomy,” Kotagiri said.


  • lagunas3ca

    Maybe this technology could be used to help senior citizens drive faster, so when it doesn’t recognize road debris, speed bumps, other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, or pets… then it auto increases their speed by about 15-20 mph and that hopefully should bring them closer to the speed limit.

  • Marty

    So, my speedometer is a scanner of the fourth dimension?

    That’s not really what I learned studying mechanics.

  • Shahul Usman

    yea not sure “4th” dimension is the correct verbiage.. time is the 4th, so maybe speed? maybe its right? i dunno

    • Status

      Time is just one way to represent the 4th dimension relative to the 3 we’re used to. Nothing says it can’t be a 4th physical dimension at right angles to those of the 3rd dimension. But ultimately, anything postulated to be a 4th dimension product is just built on theoretical geometry; something for mathematicians to play with.

      Outside of that, marketers will distort the 4th dimension to make it anything they want the public to think it is.

  • And the windshield is the screen… Ah, the future.

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