TASCC: Pervasive low-TeraHz and Video Sensing for Car Autonomy and Driver Assistance (PATH CAD)

This project combines novel low-THz (LTHz) sensor development with advanced video analysis, fusion and cross learning. Using the two streams integrated within the sensing, information and control systems of a modern automobile, we aim to map terrain and identify hazards such as potholes and surface texture changes in all weathers, and to detect and classify other road users (pedestrians, car, cyclists etc.).

The coming era of autonomous and assisted driving necessitates new all-weather technology. Advanced concepts of interaction between the sensed and processed data, the control systems and the driver can lead to autonomy in decision and control, securing all the needed information for the driver to intervene in critical situations. The aims are to improve road safety through increased situational awareness, and increase energy efficiency by reducing the emission of pollutants caused by poor control and resource use in both on and off-road vehicles.

Video cameras remain at the heart of our system: there are many reasons for this: low cost, availability, high resolution, a large legacy of processing algorithms to interpret the data and driver/passenger familiarity with the output. However it is widely recognized that video and/or other optical sensors such as LIDAR (c.f. Google car) are not sufficient. The same conditions that challenge human drivers such as heavy rain, fog, spray, snow and dust limit the capability of electro-optical sensors. We require a new approach.
The key second sensor modality is a low-THz radar system operating within the 0.3-1 THz frequency spectrum. By its very nature radar is robust to the conditions that limit video. However it is the relatively short wavelength and wide bandwidth of this low-THz radar with respect to existing automotive radar systems that can bring key additional capabilities. This radar has the potential to provide: (i) imagery that is closer to familiar video than those provided by a conventional radar, and hence can begin to exploit the vast legacy of image processing algorithms; (ii) significantly improved across-road image resolution leading to correspondingly significant improvements in vehicle, pedestrian and other 'actor' (cyclists, animals etc.) detection and classification; (iii) 3D images that can highlight objects and act as an input to the guidance and control system; (iv) analysis of the radar image features, such as shadows and image texture that will contribute to both classification and control.
The project is a collaboration between three academic institutions - the University of Birmingham with its long standing excellence in automotive radar research and radar technologies, the University of Edinburgh with world class expertise in signal processing and radar imaging and Heriot-Watt University with equivalent skill in video analytics, LiDAR and accelerated algorithms. The novel approach will be based on a fusion of video and radar images in a cross-learning cognitive process to improve the reliability and quality of information acquired by an external sensing system operating in all-weather, all-terrain road conditions without dependency on navigation assisting systems.

The team have proposed a method for generating high-resolution radar images of the scene ahead of (or behind) the direction of travel of a moving vehicle. This new mode of operating an imaging radar has been verified through extensive computer simulation and with an experimental low-THz radar system.




Daniel L (2018) Application of Doppler beam sharpening for azimuth refinement in prospective low-THz automotive radars in IET Radar, Sonar & Navigation


Gishkori S (2019) Pseudo-Zernike Moments Based Sparse Representations for SAR Image Classification in IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems


Gishkori S (2018) Imaging for a Forward Scanning Automotive Synthetic Aperture Radar in IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems

Gishkori, S.; Wright, D.; Daniel, L.; Gashinova, M. & Mulgrew, B. (2019), 'Imaging Moving Targets for a Forward Scanning Automotive SAR', IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, 1-1.(early access)


Gishkori, S. & Mulgrew, B. (2019), 'Graph Based Imaging for Synthetic Aperture Radar', IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters.(early access)




We have developed a new method for using a radar system to form an image of the road in front of a car.

Exploitation Route

 Jaguar Landrover Ltd filed a patent application on the method, “GB2564648 - A radar system for use in a vehicle” in July 2017, published January 2019.




Relevants links





Principal Investigator: 


Research Institutes: 

  • Imaging, Data and Communications

Research Themes: 

  • Communications
  • Signal and Image Processing

Last modified: 

Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 16:34