Google has launched an open source API standard called Ripple that could theoretically bring the technology to additional devices outside of Google – maybe even a car, as Ford is one of the participants in the new standard.
Ripple is under the auspices of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the same industry body that hosts the CES show in Las Vegas each January, but there is little doubt who is actually behind the project. “Ripple will unlock a useful innovation that benefits everyone. General Purpose Radar is a key emerging technology for solving critical use cases in a privacy-friendly manner ”.
Ripple project on Github is filled with references to Google, including multiple instances of “Copyright 2021 Google LLC,” and contributors must sign a Google open source license agreement to participate. (One commit points out that the project was updated “to include the CTA.”) Ripple appears to be a rebranding of Google’s “Standard Radar API,” which it quietly proposed a year ago ( PDF).
Here is a statement from Ford’s Jim Buczkowski, who currently leads the company’s research and advanced engineering team:
We are researching how to use indoor radar as a source of sensors to enhance various customer experiences beyond our core Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistance technologies that today use advanced exterior radars. A standard API, with input from the semiconductor industry, will allow us to develop software independent of hardware procurement and give software teams the flexibility to innovate across multiple radar platforms.