Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Interaction Between POP Reception in Radar Detectors and certain Collision Avoidance Systems


According to AudiWorld, the Q7's side-assist system is located in the rear bumpers on both sides of the vehicle and monitors traffic to the side and rear of the car.

As of this morning, the feedback I have received from Valentine Research concerning this issue is that the side assist systems employed on the Audi Q7 utilizes a K-POP-like signal profile and since the Valentine 1 is the only radar detector that can actually detect K-band POP consistently (67ms variety, not 16ms), it alerts to the presence of this system - which is a bona-fide source of K-band radar - where other detectors less capable of this reception mode, can not.

*Reprinted with permission from Guys of Lidar

I would expect that the V1 would tend to alert frequently to this radar-source from within the confines of the Audi Q7, which would not really be a workable situation, IMO. In this situation, V1 owners who drive such equipped vehicles could disable the side-assist option and/or disable the J-function as a workaround for the near-term.

On the surface, this may appear to be a "flaw" in the Valentine 1, but that is not the case. In fact, the opposite holds true - it is actually a reflection of the high sensitivity this detector has to K-band POP mode. I haven't been able to confirm whether or not disabling the POP reception (J-function) will eliminate this alerting.

This type of "falsing" is more of a challenge than the typical alerts one gets from stationary K-band door openers and the like that are readily identifiable as such -- by listening to the signal ramp and observing the arrows (from front to side to rear) as one passes these sources.

These kinds of alerts appear more like a bonafide threat -- in the form of a cruiser operating K-band radar in the flow of traffic -- making it much harder for the driver to make a relatively quick distinction.

Fortunately, this system on the Q7 that operates in the K-band range is pointed towards the rear. It's cruise control (Distronic) apparently operates at 76.5Ghz. Had that system been designed to operate on the same frequency as the side-assist, the problem for us drivers, who use the V1, would be compounded further as additional alerts would appear from the back initially and one would have to slow down and wait until one was overtaken by a vehicle so equipped before realizing that it was not a cruiser or unmarked vehicle operating K-band radar to nab would-be speeders from behind.

Suffice it to say, Valentine Research is aware of this potential issue and is working on addressing it in a manner that does not compromise the detector's performance and I trust they will do so -- long before this technology becomes more commonplace.

To read more about the particulars of Side-Assist technology -- which, at the moment appears to be a $500USD option -- one may refer to the following online sources of information:

Animated Video of Side-Assist in Use
Audi World

Veil Guy

©2007 Veil Corporation. All rights reserved. No part may be duplicated without expressed written permission of the author.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the claim Valentine is making regarding sensitivity, I have an old $30 Cobra detector from Walmart, and it reliably falses on any Audi equipped with this feature. I get the signal ramp as I approach, and the rapid falloff to 0 as I pass.