Blind Spot Monitoring

I have a 2016 Toyota with their blind spot monitoring system. I know it uses millimeter radar to detect vehicles. It also detects people as you’re backing out of a parking spot.

But it does not alert if I’m driving right next to a concrete barrier wall that’s perhaps 18" away. I’m wondering why that is? Trucks and cars contain steel which is certainly good at reflecting a radar signal, and people contain a lot of liquid that also reflects a radar signal. Is it that the concrete doesn’t reflect as much as I’d thought?

Speculation, but perhaps they programmed the system to avoid things like that? Because you might be driving next to a concrete barrier for a good long time and you’d get a ridiculous number of false positives.

That could be the case, but like the vacuum bottle, how does it know.?

Here’s a patent for a blind spot detection system. It says, “A BSD warning should be triggered when a stagnating vehicle is detected, but should not be triggered by a stationary object, e.g. a guardrail, a concrete barrier, or a utility pole. Failure to distinguish between these two limits the effectiveness of the BSD system and leads a driver to mistrust warnings produced by the system.” So I think my guess was correct, in that the system is designed to ignore things like concrete barriers.

As to how this occurs, the patent later says, “Some stationary objects that are commonly encountered on roadways, such as guard rails and concrete barriers, are continuous structures and, as such, the objects will remain in the blind spot for a longer period of time. In such situations, the system may not be able to differentiate between a continuous stationary object and a vehicle stagnating in the blind spot of the host vehicle. For example, in the situation illustrated in FIG. 3, the right blind spot sensor 105 detects the presence of an object 303. The vehicle 303 is operating in the blind spot of the host vehicle 301 at nearly the same speed as the host vehicle 301 (i.e., stagnating). Because the speed of the vehicle 303 relative to the host vehicle is zero, the right blind spot detection sensor 105 cannot distinguish if it is a continuous stationary object (like a guard rail) or a stagnating vehicle based on the method of FIG. 4.” So it sounds like the system ignores continuous stationary objects like guardrails parallel to the car.

Thanks, that’s probably it. Next time I can I’ll match speed with a neighboring vehicle and see what happens.

because a vehicle has finite length. the barrier in the median (as far as the car is concerned) does not.

I realize that, but I’d imagine that as I change into the lane next to the barrier I might initially get a warning.

Do you imagine that if I match speed with an adjoining vehicle the warning signal will terminate?

One strange thing that I noticed about the BSM in my Mazda CX-5 is that it “pauses” when I drive long stretches of empty roads. That causes the indicator light to flash, which really freaked me out when it first happened.

My Wife’s car has something sort of similar like a proximity warning or something and it’s quite annoying as it will just stay on when you’re say in a drive-thru.