Self-driving cars constantly asses their environment in order to choose routes, comply with traffic regulations, and avoid hazards. To that aim, such vehicles are equipped with wireless communications transceivers as well as multiple sensors, including automotive radars. The fact that autonomous vehicles implement both radar and communications motivates designing these functionalities in a joint manner. Such dual function radar-communications (DFRC) designs are the focus of a large body of recent works. These approaches can lead to substantial gains in size, cost, power consumption, robustness, and performance, especially when both radar and communications operate in the same range, which is the case in vehicular applications. This article surveys the broad range of DFRC strategies and their relevance to autonomous vehicles. We identify the unique characteristics of automotive radar technologies and their combination with wireless communications requirements of self-driving cars. Then, we map the existing DFRC methods along with their pros and cons in the context of autonomous vehicles, and discuss the main challenges and possible research directions for realizing their full potential.
- Computer Science - Information Theory