Piaggio Creates New Sensor Technology for Consumer and Enterprise Robots and for Motorcycle and Scooter Safety

Applied Tech Review | Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Piaggio’s hardware-software modules provide uncompromised safety by offering reliable monitoring in all lighting and environmental circumstances.

FREMONT, CA: Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), a robotics firm based in Boston and a leader in smart following technology, has created new sensor technology that may be used in consumer and corporate robots, as well as scooters and motorcycles.

PFF, which was founded in 2015 by the Piaggio Group, had previously focused on advancing innovation in smart following technology and smart behavior implementation in robots and machines. Last year the company made a strategic decision to begin developing a custom radar sensor module for use first in Piaggio Group motorcycles and scooters, intending to license the technology to other companies eventually.

“PFF is creating advanced technology products for robots and motorcycles that detect and measure objects in our surroundings to provide the information we need for mapping, object detection, and control, regardless of lighting, weather and other environmental factors. We have chosen to develop our sensing applications with Vayyar’s 4D imaging radar technology. We are excited to work with such a professional, passionate team, to develop innovative new solutions that provide our customers with a better product experience.” Greg Lynn, CEO, Piaggio Fast Forward.

PFF’s hardware-software modules provide uncompromised safety by offering reliable monitoring in all lighting and environmental circumstances. Vayyar Imaging was awarded a supply contract by PFF for the Radar-on-Chip modules, marking the industry’s first 4D imaging radar-based motorcycle safety platform deployment. PFF conceived, produced, and provided the entire sensor package for mass production in Piaggio Group motorbikes Advanced Rider Assistance Systems (ARAS). ARAS applications are at the forefront of the fight to avoid motorcycle collisions and safeguard riders. ARAS technology addresses the stringent technological requirements of typical driver aid functions while also solving motorcycle-specific issues such as size limits and seamless vehicle mobility at high-tilt degrees.

“We are very excited to partner with PFF, who are at the forefront of sensor technology, both in terms of harmonization with rider experience on two- and three-wheeled products, as well as application in their innovative robots. Motorcycle riders are among the most vulnerable road users, and this is a big step forward in reducing their risk of collision,” says Ilan Hayat, Director of Business Development at Vayyar Imaging. “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”, added Hayat.

The PFF modules use a Vayyars mmWave 4D imaging Radar-on-Chip (RoC) sensor, which enables several ARAS features like Blind Spot Detection (BSD), Lane Change Assist (LCA), and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) with a single sensor with a range of over 100m and an ultra-wide field-of-view. PFF robots using radar technology are planned to hit the market by the end of 2021, with Piaggio Group motorcycles featuring the PFF sensor module following in 2022.

Vayyar 4D imaging radar technology, which is used in both PFF robots and PFF sensing modules developed for the motorcycle industry, has a large Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) array that allows for ultra-high resolution point cloud imaging for holistic monitoring of a robot’s and vehicle’s surroundings. This high-performance sensor uses sophisticated single-chip 4D imaging radar technology to detect and track multiple targets with an ultra-wide field of view (both in azimuth and elevation) and no dead zones. It was designed with a tiny form factor in mind to meet the particular problems of motorbike and robotics design.

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