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LG Innotek’s high-performance radar module detects life in cars

An LG Innotek employee shows the company’s in-cabin radar module. (LG Innotek)
An LG Innotek employee shows the company’s in-cabin radar module. (LG Innotek)
LG Innotek said on Tuesday it has developed an in-cabin radar module for cars that detects living things and movements with electromagnetic waves.

Used to avoid leaving small children in cars or to prevent theft, in-cabin radar modules are made by combining radar chips, antennas and communication chips on substrates, and are usually installed in the ceiling above the rear seats or around the rearview mirror.

The global demand for interior sensing devices, including radar modules, has been rising.

South Korea requires safety devices to be installed in minibuses that transport children, and Europe plans to add child presence detection tests to the list of criteria for approving sales of new vehicles from 2023. The US is taking steps to make the child presence detection system a requirement from 2025 to prevent accidents from leaving children in cars.

LG Innotek’s radar module can sense life under garments or blankets, and doesn’t raise privacy issues, as it uses electromagnetic waves instead of images. Whereas at least five ultrasonic sensors need to be installed in a car for accurate detection, one or two radar modules can do the job.

These modules can also be used in self-driving cars to check whether passengers are wearing seat belts, and to notify when passengers can get out of the vehicle.

LG Innotek said its radar module resolution is improved by 40 percent compared to existing products.

In addition to faster sensing, the module detects the position and size of all passengers, vital signs and movements in the car, and sets the airbag pressure accordingly, the company said.

Targeting commercialization in 2024, LG Innotek is currently promoting the radar module to carmakers and automotive parts makers in South Korea, the US, Europe and Japan.

By Kim So-hyun (