Forward Collision Vehicular Radar with IEEE 802.11: Feasibility Demonstration through Measurements


Enoch R. Yeh, Robert C. Daniels, Robert W. Heath, Jr.


To appear in IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology


Increasing safety and automation in transportation systems has led to the proliferation of radar and IEEE 802.11 dedicated short range communication (DSRC) in vehicles. Current implementations of vehicular radar devices, however, are expensive, use a substantial amount of bandwidth, and are susceptible to multiple security risks. Consider the feasibility of using an IEEE 802.11 orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) communications waveform to perform radar functions. In this paper, we present an approach that determines the mean-normalized channel energy from frequency domain channel estimates and models it as a direct sinusoidal function of target range, enabling closest target range estimation. In addition, we propose an alternative to vehicular forward collision detection by extending IEEE 802.11 dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) and WiFi technology to radar, providing a foundation for joint communications and radar framework. Furthermore, we perform an experimental demonstration using existing IEEE 802.11 devices with minimal modification through algorithm processing on frequency-domain channel estimates. The results of this paper show that our solution delivers similar accuracy and reliability to mmWave radar devices with as little as 20 MHz of spectrum (doubling DSRC's 10 MHz allocation), indicating significant potential for industrial devices with joint vehicular communications and radar capabilities.